September 2, 2014

British Library Launches Videogame Website Archive

Curators at The British Library are archiving videogame websites, and they want gamers and designers to suggest material they consider worthy of preservation. Besides the online games themselves, that can include forums, FAQs, emulation software, even ads. Sites can be nominated by filling out a form at  webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/info/nominate.

“The collection will include some actual games but the focus will be more on capturing websites that embody gaming culture,” said Miki Lentin, head of communications for The British Library. These will include maps drawn by gamers, reviews, pictures and stories which develop game narratives, as well as resources that discuss the cultural and societal impact of computer games.

The collection is managed by the Library’s digital curation and preservation staff, according to The Independent.

“In addition to direct access to the websites, plans are underway to develop analytical access tools for the UK Web Archive,” Lentin told LJ. “We already provide an NGram search that can be run on the collection as a whole. This and other analytical access tools will be further developed over the next few years.”

The Library is working with the National Videogame Archive on the project. The Archive is a joint venture between Nottingham Trent University, Bath Spa University and the National Media Museum in Bradford.

While the library’s collection will be U.K. focused, Lentin said a comparable U.S. resource can be found at the How They Got Game initiative at Stanford University, led by Henry Lowood.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Senior Editor, News and Features of Library Journal.

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