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Games Entertainment

UK Opens National Video Game Archive 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the grandaddy-pac-man dept.
BBC News reports that the UK is acknowledging video games as a "key component of modern culture" by opening the National Videogame Archive inside the National Media Museum. "'The National Videogame Archive is an important resource for preserving elements of our national cultural heritage,' said Dr Newman. 'It's not just about cartridges and consoles, it's also about video game culture, the ways in which people actually play them. Unlike film and music, it's very difficult to walk into a retail store and walk out with a bunch of games from the 1970's,' said Dr Newman. He feels that games should be archived in the same way that music, books and film are preserved, as we often use them as markers in our culture and history." There's a similar archive at the University of Texas at Austin. What games would you put on display?
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UK Opens National Video Game Archive

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  • by Majik Sheff (930627) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @02:57AM (#25565951) Journal

    So how do we archive all of the fantastic hardware that the likes of Sega and Atari produced? What about pinball games and crane sandboxes? What about the machines that would cast a souvenir for you out of plastic on the spot? There is a lot of gaming history that is sadly endangered.

  • what would I archive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ozbon (99708) on Thursday October 30, 2008 @03:25AM (#25566063) Homepage

    Manic Miner / Jet Set Willy : Disturbingly Addictive
    Elite : 3D in 32Kb
    Sabre Wulf : First (I think) forced-perspective 3d
    Daley Thomson's Decathlon - for single-handedly killing more Z and X keys than anything else on the market. Ever.

  • by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Thursday October 30, 2008 @08:32AM (#25567491) Homepage Journal
    In fact, in many (most?) countries in western Europe at least, home computers massively dominated for most of the 80's and consoles were a niche. Most kids I knew considered consoles as something for people that couldn't afford a full fledged computer until at least the Super Nintendo, which was the first one I remember people talking about without being embarrassed for not getting something better.

    (At least part of this I think came from parents delusion that if they bought a home computer it'd get used for a lot more than games, which was untrue for maybe 90%+ of the kids that got the).

    The C64 (and VIC 20 before the launch of C64), Amigas and Atari ST's dominated in Scandinavia (pretty much in that order in terms of volume), with Spectrum and Amstrad as lesser players. Elsewhere in Europe Spectrum, Amstrad and BBC did comparatively better. Acorn Archimedes also didn't do too badly in the late 80's.

    In fact, I've never seen most of the consoles you list before 1991 apart from in pictures despite being in and out of the local tech stores as often as I could (probably almost daily from '85-'90 or so) and reading all related magazines I could get my hand on - none of my friends ever had them.

    I remember seeing a wide variety of home computers in the computer stores near where I lived (in Norway) in the early 80's, including Commodore PET's, Dragon 32's, Spectravideo, Oric, the odd MSX and other rarities - some larger stores or specialist stores would have other models, but I can't recall ever seeing any of them sell any consoles until the late 80's (I'm sure I ignored some, by virtue of our complete lack of interest in them).

    By 1985 most shops around me had stopped stocking any other 8 bit home computers than C64 and Spectrum, with some selling Amstrad CPC's. Then the Amiga's and Atari ST's and the occasional console slowly started showing up.

    At least Commodore's massive popularity here was a uniquely European thing - Commodore's European sales far outpaced it's US sales, and the sheer volume probably was part of "stunting" the importance of consoles in Europe in the 80's significantly.

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