$1 Million to study video games

Submitted by effinglibrarian on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 10:46
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From LISWire:
School of Information Awarded $1.2 Million from IMLS for The Study of Digital Librarianship, Video Game Industry

"The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin has received $1.2 million from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) to prepare students for librarianship in a digital world..."

Aren't library schools supposed to prepare students for librarianship in whatever world exists at the time? So up to the point of awarding this grant, library schools have only been preparing students for librarianship in the Bronze age world? the Stone world? the strange World of Sid and Marty Krofft?

"The project will focus on providing doctoral students with a deep understanding of digital librarianship..." Oh, they have money for the new nerds. Nerd 2.0.

"Assistant Professor Megan Winget was awarded $255,040 to advance her research in the video game industry's methods, behaviors and attitudes for the purpose of building more meaningful models of collection and preservation of complex, community-built digital creations."

Preservation of video games? Yeah, they're called Ziploc bags. I think the one-gallon size will hold a Sony PlayStation. Buy some kitchen garbage bags for a PS3. For $250,000, you should be able to stock up.

Why are they studying the video game industry for preservation? The industry's view has never supported backwards compatibility, hence no preservation, only disposal and the purchase of new hardware. The only preservation in the gaming world is done by individuals and fans of video games.

The story says that part of the grant is to educate professors on archival storage, which I guess means to teach them to not touch the contacts on the Atari 2600 game cart. I can see these archivists discussing the best way to bag that Intellivision console, whether the controllers should be bagged individually or in pairs, and in what temperature to store it all for future generations. I wonder if they know about the landfill piled high with ET: the Extra-Terrestrial Atari 2600 carts.

Tell them to call me if they want a box of Atari ST or 3DO games. Yeah, 3DO; I even owned stock in the company. Yeah, I'm a dope.