Why preserve video games?

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by toggle switch » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:40 am

why even bother arguing with these people. it's like, if i were to say "people shouldn't play baseball" - does that have any actual impact on the sport of baseball?

likewise, these people saying that you shouldn't preserve games is just pointless. people are going to preserve video games regardless of what they say, so why even bother talking about it? you're smart. spend your time more productively.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by Memblers » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:41 pm

I was going to say something about how I'll never see that maze game from Prodigy again, but I googled it to remember the name and there it was anyways: http://www.vintagecomputing.com/madmaze/
For a lot of this type of stuff, we're at the mercy of the people who created the software (if they even have the code anymore, and are still alive, and are legally allowed to share it..). As for corporations who own the rights to the software, I doubt we can really count on them to care, giving it away is probably just seen as a loss for them. Copyright terms are so long that the owners are completely disconnected from the reality of its creators.

So yeah, my thoughts are that there's not much point in arguing with people who disagree about preservation. Too many people don't care about history in general, I'd be nice if they could change their minds but I'm pessimistic about it. On the extreme end there are people out there who want to act like, if you're doing something they don't understand (especially long-term stuff), and it's not related to curing cancer or feeding the homeless veterans, then it's a Bad Thing.

Personally, my views on copyright are probably radical, at least compared to the system we have now. The copyright period has been extended far too long, and is more about rent-seeking than benefiting creators. I think software should be considered differently from things like books and movies. Things like authors notes, deleted scenes, scripts, etc. are neat to have, but they're not essential to the book/movie. One can make 2 different movies from 1 script. By contrast, the underlying source code is essential to software. Logically it seems that copyright protection applies to the binaries as well as the source. I think if corporations are being given the benefit of copyright protection by society, that it's a parasitic relationship if they aren't actually giving anything back.

That's more of a systemic problem, I'm not saying that makes rights holders in the wrong automatically, but there is absolutely no system in place to make anything like this possible (at least that I'm aware of). Like if source code could be placed in escrow until copyright expires. But the security implications are probably unthinkable for such a thing. It's kind of utopian idea I guess. It's basically all academic from our standpoint, preservation of current stuff isn't going to matter until generations later, and that's if they even care to look at it. I suspect though that online/cloud-computing type stuff could lead to a dead zone in future digital archaeology. Or maybe the exact opposite, and someone will backup all the cloud servers and it actually preserved everything. Who knows..

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by Rahsennor » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:12 pm

Thirding this as a case of "complaining about shows you don't watch." Even if you don't care about history, that doesn't mean nobody does. In fact, someone, somewhere, somewhen is pretty much guaranteed to, even if it's just some 24th century author trying to make his period holoplay more detailed.

Besides, it's not like that crazy old lady next door who can't bear to throw away a teacup and sleeps in her kitchen because she's run out of room. You could probably fit every piece of software written before 1990 and the specifications and circuits for the systems to run them on a single hard drive today. If someone out there wants to "waste" their time trying, more power to them.

I for one am grateful to all the people out there trying to preserve DOS shareware, however good or crappy, because I didn't, and I played stacks of floppies (and later CD-ROMs) full of them. I can still remember playing a whole bunch of games that I can't even name, let alone find online.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by supercat » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:00 pm

Subject: Why preserve video games?
That's more of a systemic problem, I'm not saying that makes rights holders in the wrong automatically, but there is absolutely no system in place to make anything like this possible (at least that I'm aware of). Like if source code could be placed in escrow until copyright expires. But the security implications are probably unthinkable for such a thing. It's kind of utopian idea I guess. It's basically all academic from our standpoint, preservation of current stuff isn't going to matter until generations later, and that's if they even care to look at it. I suspect though that online/cloud-computing type stuff could lead to a dead zone in future digital archaeology. Or maybe the exact opposite, and someone will backup all the cloud servers and it actually preserved everything. Who knows..
I would have no problem with allowing for copyrights to be renewed for a long time if the cost of renewal was on a sliding scale with time. If a company is still making millions of dollars per year selling a work after seventy years, it would be worthwhile spending $70,000 to renew the copyright for another decade, but works which are abandoned should enter the public domain soon thereafter.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by tepples » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:41 pm

toggle switch wrote:why even bother arguing with these people. it's like, if i were to say "people shouldn't play baseball" - does that have any actual impact on the sport of baseball?
The difference is that unlike with video games, there's no Baseball Company that can assert exclusive rights to ban people from starting their own league. Leagues independent of Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball exist.

And now Slashdot.org is running two stories back to back about the legacy of Flash:

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by lazerbeat » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:26 am

I think a really simple reason is if you don't preserve game while you can you lose the opportunity to preserve them in the future. Just because some people don't see value in the media right now doesn't mean nobody ever will.

The wikipedia article on "wiping" is pretty tragic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiping

with a list of things from Dr who episodes to the Beatles only Top of the Pops performance to World Series and NBA Finals pre 70's, Most of the Tonight Show with Jack Paar etc, all just gone forever now.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by tepples » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:41 am

lazerbeat wrote:things from Dr who episodes to the Beatles only Top of the Pops performance to World Series and NBA Finals pre 70's, Most of the Tonight Show with Jack Paar etc, all just gone forever now.
Humankind continues to survive without access to all these works of entertainment. In the worldview of those who downplay the drive to spend excessive resources and/or break the law in order to preserve entertainment, this preservation is a human want, not a human need.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by toggle switch » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:46 am

In the worldview of those who downplay the drive to spend excessive resources and/or break the law in order to preserve entertainment, this preservation is a human want, not a human need.
pretty much everything people do is a human want, not need.

isn't wanting to do something a perfectly valid reason for doing it?

certainly telling strangers online how they should spend their time is a want, not a need, yet these jackasses continue doing it.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by tepples » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:50 am

They see it as "You shouldn't be breaking the law or opening my computer to intrusion for a human want." Preserving abandonware without the express written consent of each program's author is "breaking the law," and continuing to run Adobe Flash Player as a browser plug-in is "opening my computer to intrusion."

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by toggle switch » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:54 am

They see it as "You shouldn't be breaking the law or opening my computer to intrusion for a human want."
and i see it as why do you waste your time concerning yourself with the moral police on the internet? if they want to waste their time concerning themselves with the intellectual property of companies that either don't exist anymore or who have entirely different sources of income at this point in time, that is up to them, but my advice to you is to just ignore them. you have nothing to gain by interacting with them and your most valuable resource (time) to lose.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by Fisher » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:11 am

I think there's another very complex aspect involved in preserving or not: the emotional part.
Many things that we want to preserve are like this just because they bring back to us good memories.
Memories of playing a game, even if it's a crappy one, with friends and having lots of fun laughing at the game's flaws, watching a bad movie or series with that sweet beloved companion.

Many of these moments just can't be repeated, be it for anyone's busy life, health condition or someone that just passed away.
The opposite is also true.
Just an opinion, indeed, not sure if it has any scientific support.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by Erockbrox » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:08 am

Video game preservation is important because video games are a part of our culture and progressively show how our technology has changed over time.

Also preserving something has more value in it rather than not preserving. You can always learn from the past, but if the past isn't recorded then you can't learn from it.

There are cave paintings from thousands of years ago from old hunter gather tribes. They didn't have a written language or preserved their life in writings or anything, so all we have are those cave paintings.

Image

Preservation shows our history and its something that should be valued no matter what.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by tepples » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:14 am

Erockbrox wrote:Video game preservation is important because video games are a part of our culture and progressively show how our technology has changed over time.
How is culture preservation up there with food and shelter?
Erockbrox wrote:Also preserving something has more value in it rather than not preserving. You can always learn from the past, but if the past isn't recorded then you can't learn from it.
(The following I admit is somewhat facetious but tries to establish an upper limit to your claim)
Then why do we even have rewritable computer storage as opposed to log-structured write-once read-many (WORM) media? Why do systems have garbage collection as opposed to preserving all temporary objects created by a computer program?

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by sean121 » Fri May 01, 2020 1:31 am

With the advancement in technology, I don't think there is a need or a demand to preserve video games. I mean, who would want to play the game decade old. Yeah, for nostalgia, people would love to play but other than that I don't see any point.

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Re: Why preserve video games?

Post by Pokun » Fri May 01, 2020 6:47 am

Yeah what kind of maniac would even touch a game that is several months or even years old? There's even entire discussion forums dedicated to collecting, playing and even developing games to these ancient machines that no one plays or cares about anymore. Talk about pointless. Wait...


Games is not just about technology or nostalgia. That's like saying Mona Lisa is a pointless piece of work because it's painted with obsolete technology.

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