The ROM Drama

A major site that hosts ROMS of classic video games has shut down because they are being sued by Nintendo. There’s a lot of discussion around this topic circulating in games journalism. Here’s a few pieces

  • https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/08/emuparadise-shuts-down-rom-downloads-amid-lawsuit-fears/
  • https://kotaku.com/in-defense-of-roms-a-solution-to-dying-games-and-broke-1828340811

What are this issue

There are some issues at play here that don’t seem complex at first, but upon examination reveal a level of complexity. On the surface you can say that the issue is one of access. Gamers want access to older games, and the organizations that own these games are not provided access of any kind. Most of the older games in question. In response to this, gamers found ways to make their own access to the older games. This access, often referred to as preserving/archiving, involves pulling the original game from a physical medium and running the game through an emulator.

  • cultural ownership of commercial products
  • lack of market availability when there’s an obvious market demand
  • rigorous control of of intellectual property that had previously been seen as not having monetary value

Video Games as Community Archives

One thing that’s at play here is that video game enthusiast have a strong sense of community, and it might be that they are functioning as kind of community archival operation. 

What maybe of concern is whether the enthusiast are able to preserve games and related information better than specialized archives? That’s up for debate, but communities of gamers should have a role to play in preserving them. 

Further Reading

 https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/10/the-internets-keepers-some-call-us-hoarders-i-like-to-say-were-archivists/

I Read This: June 12, 2018

Neat

Uncool

I didn’t see this coming

Georgia Open Records and the News

I won’t say that 2016 and the start of 2017 has been good for discussion of access to public records in Georgia. I will say that it’s been interesting. These stories help me teach students about the importance of governmental records management and archives. Specifically the importance of these activities for an open and transparent government.

Here’s a listing of some of the “fun” stories that I’ve found. I’ll update this post as I find new, exciting, and terrible occurrences of open government and the news.

Spring 2017

2016