mémoire image

Research paper: History and conservation of video games, an impossible quest

My role

Ludology Researcher (Game Studies)

Team & Duration

March 2018 to June 2018


A 100 pages thesis on the preservation of video games

At the beginning of the writing of this paper, I thought I didn’t have a complex problem. The video game seemed well protected to me thanks to the French National Library and the many retro-gaming associations such as MO5. As my research progressed, I quickly realized that this medium has not yet been saved from oblivion. The obstacles to its conservation are as varied as they are significant. The actors have to face human resistance, often based on prejudices. In addition, the support of video games is both inconsistent and ephemeral. There are already two obstacles and we are not even talking about « video games », the software, or « consoles », the machine that runs these programs. I also quote some « actors » above, but who are they? Do they have the same degree of visibility and what are their actions?

I have tried to address all these questions and explain them in my brief in order to give a more precise vision of this environment at the end. There is no miracle solution but an observation at a precise moment and although time is limited, video game conservation still has a long way to go.

This thesis will be available in July 2019 in French on the Les mondes numériques website and in the form of articles on this website.

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