ACMI, AARNET, RMIT and Swinburne University present
Play it Again: Mastering the Preservation of Computer Games is Mastering the Preservation Game
Leading researcher, Klaus Rechart, speaks about his experiences using emulation to preserve vintage computer and video games in a keynote for the Born Digital Cultural Heritage 2022 Conference.
Emulation has always been a tool for hobbyists, retro-gamers preserving their beloved games, and the gaming industry needing to fill its new games consoles with known and already popular titles. Beginning in the late 1990s, the digital preservation community started to integrate emulation into their repertoire of tools and workflows to preserve our digital cultural heritage.
Since then, the preservation of computer games has been a key driver of the development of emulation as a preservation strategy. As the original hardware was always limited, programmers found creative ways to overcome these limitations, which in turn exposed the shortcuts and shortcomings of emulators. Today’s computer and videogames present future challenges in digital preservation. The rise of GPUs is not only relevant for computer games as GPU technology has become a major technological ingredient of many software applications and services. In a similar way, games evolved from cartridges and CD-ROMs to blurry objects, artefacts without physical representation, difficult to inspect and capture for preservation purposes.
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council Linkage Program.
About Klaus Rechert
Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Freiburg
Klaus Rechert leads the digital preservation research group at the University of Freiburg. Klaus was the principle investigator of bwFLA (Baden-Württemberg Functional Long-Term Archiving and Access) and has been the architect behind Emulation as a Service. Klaus is involved in multiple national and international projects related to digital preservation, reproducible science and research data management. Klaus was awarded a Diploma in Computer Science in 2005, and a doctoral degree in 2013 from the University of Freiburg.
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