[-empyre-] Games, histories and preservation
heliopod at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 17 23:35:48 EST 2008
Yeah I can certainly understand your perspective, and yes I agree that
the hardware, interface devices and other bits certainly does have an
impact on how we play, how we feel about what we play and so on.
And yes, I've also been entirely saddened by the piss poor joystick
movement of atari 7800 ports.
But then.....I am not a purist, nor am I particularly concerned with
all the exact details of a certain experience. Because along with
that experience, as Julian points out, are a much wider range
or social, environmental, technical factors. for example. my Texas
Instruments computer and its Dungeons and Dragons game on the
cassette tape was freaking magic. Was it because of my ten years
of age? Was it because the TI in my bedroom was freaking magic
at the time? Were my expectations and understanding of technology
the "set-up" for my experience?
So I suppose I am more than willing to explore all other options
for continuing the life, and even more importantly the mythology
of older games, game experiences etc.
I think my initial comment was to simply state that I feel archiving
seems to happen best when a large, de-centralized group loves
something enough to find ways to save it. And emulators, despite
their flaws, show that very well.
Julian Oliver <julian at selectparks.net> wrote: ..on or around Sun, Mar 16, 2008 at 09:47:06PM -0700, Jason Nelson said:
> I guess I dont really care about traditional ideas of archiving or art
> collecting. The notion of original is terribly artificial. It would seem
> a great archive of digital artwork would show the changes/progressions
> and transformations of the artwork.
> And maybe one of the stumbling blocks to archiving digital art, is its
> lack of general acceptance or popularity.
> Which, bringing this back to games, is why games are so powerful.
> I often get hits, loading external movie clips, for game, game, game and again game
> from people's hard drives. so if my house burns down and the host provider explodes
> they will still have a copy floating around....
in the context of archiving videogames, it is difficult to argue that a
separation of the physical interface from the software itself will come
without great cultural cost over time. nonetheless, it may be the only
feasible solution given the practical difficulties of archiving and
maintaining game hardware.
there is, after all, no such thing as 'digital art', as a purely
electronically contained cultural object: there will never be a wholly
digital artwork because to engage with it would require we are ourselves
like so-called digital art, the hardware on which videogames depend
serves to shape matter: it shapes photons for our eyes and modulates
air-pressure for our ears. without this there would be no experience of
a game. moreso the combination of hardware mechanics and software events
shape our bodies little by little through demanding new patterns of
muscular contraction and expansion.
for this reason i've always thought there was something honest about the
old term 'game system'; it confesses the inescapable dependence on the
videogames are not so much artefacts as a highly refined set of
conditions distributed between hardware and software such that a certain
scope of experiences might result during interaction. the relative
portability of the software part of contemporary PC videogames has led
to the mistaken idea that we can demote the vital importance of the
hardware in the relation. while generic compared to the game systems of
20 years ago, the PC's we use now are still rich in particularities that
change the way we play and feel about video games.
the sound, weight and distribution of the keys on my joystick while
playing SpeedBall on my Amiga was an intrinsic part of the game - as an
experience. playing SpeedBall with a keyboard in an emulator under Linux
on my Thinkpad is like looking at a video of a dead pet.
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