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Where have all the games gone? Explorations on the cultural significance of digital games and preservation

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conference contribution
posted on 21.09.2009, 15:29 by Joanna Barwick, Adrienne Muir, James A. Dearnley
It is now 50 years since the development of the first computer game but despite the proliferation of digital games in our society - with an industry which is flourishing and an average of 9 games sold every second of every day in 2007, it seems that these products are not as valued as the products of other cultural industries, such as film and television, and they are being excluded from the preservation of our digital heritage. This paper will focus on research interviews undertaken with people in the academic community. It will highlight that the growing academic interest in digital games is being hindered by a lack of research collections to support historical study. Researchers acknowledge that the study of digital games is a relatively new discipline and that outside academia, there is still little understanding of their cultural significance. However, they recognise the importance of protecting games as part of our digital heritage to ensure that future generations are able to understand the development of a valuable aspect of our social history. In other words, this research has underlined that games are considered a culture worth studying and something in need of preserving.



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BARWICK, J., MUIR, A. and DEARNLEY, J., 2009. Where have all the games gone? Explorations on the cultural significance of digital games and preservation. DIGRA 2009: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory, Brunel University, West London, 1st - 4th September.


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