The enemy of any artistic and creative venture is time. Human intervention is key when it comes to preserving art and ensuring it can be enjoyed by future generations. With this in mind, a new initiative is being introduced in order to collect and preserve Australian made video games.
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has announced today that they will be introducing video games into their collection of multimedia content. The mission of the NFSA is to archive a variety of Australian made digital media in order to preserve them as well as to create a snapshot of the Australian creative industries throughout history.
“We aim to be the national leader in collecting multimedia and new media content, and it would be impossible to accurately represent modern life without games. It is essential that games be collected alongside other audiovisual media, to ensure their continued preservation and access.” said NSFA CEO Jan Müller.
A select group of video games will now be introduced to the NFSA’s collection of over 3 million items. 8 games have been selected for preservation, ranging in release from 1982-2019 and across multiple platforms and formats. The games are listed below:
- The Hobbit (Beam Software, 1982)
- Halloween Harry (Interactive Binary Illusions / Sub Zero Software, 1985/1993)
- Shadowrun (Beam Software, 1993)
- L.A. Noire (Team Bondi, 2011)
- Submerged (Uppercut Games, 2015)
- Hollow Knight (Team Cherry, 2017)
- Florence (Mountains, 2018)
- Espire 1: VR Operative (Digital Lode, 2019)
The preservation of these titles will obviously include the games themselves, but additionally will be accompanied by storyboards, soundtracks, artwork, publicity materials and more. The initial 8 games will also give the NFSA an opportunity to discover what obstacles are in play when it comes to archiving a medium like video games and will hopefully give them an understanding of how to effectively go about this process in the future. Speaking of the future, it has also been announced that following the initial 8 titles, future Australian games will be collected on an ongoing basis. The announcement was made in tandem with the opening of Game Masters: The Exhibition in Canberra. Game Masters is an interactive experience celebrating video game history that will be running from September 27 through to March 9th 2020.
This is a fantastic initiative that can only serve to benefit the gaming community and Australian history as a whole. This news comes only a few days removed from the release of the Australian developed title, Untitled Goose Game (which we gave a 9.5) by Melbourne team House House, which has shown to be incredibly popular. Furthermore, there was news on the opening of a brand new development team, Summerfall Studios, that will be announcing their first game at PAX Aus. So it is safe to say that this month has been chock full of positive movements in the Australian gaming scene.
What do you think about the NFSA archiving Australian made games? What games would you like to see preserved? Let us know.