- Via How They Got Game, the Stanford University blog about game preservation and studies, they point out a relatively new Game Face interview with Henry Lowood, the curator for the history of science and technology collections at Stanford - and it's got some useful, scholarly thinking about game history in it.

I've known Henry for a while, having worked with him to set up the Internet Archive machinima collection, among other things. Most recently, he originated the Digital Game Canon concept with folks like Steve Meretzky and Warren Spector - and look out for some Gamasutra-related news on that front pretty soon which should help bring further prominence to the concept.

In any case, I think Lowood is on the money when explaining: "Well, my personal view is that the published games themselves you might think of more as the library of game culture, the books if you will, not so much as the archives. The archives to me will be other kinds of materials. And by that I mean the evidence of the processes through which these games were created and also what players do - that is, the culture around the games." In other words, you need both first-person accounts of the game's creation and evidence of people playing them and interacting with them.

He continues: "Think of a copy of EverQuest that we might have on the shelf a hundred years from now... as a player, there would be very little you would know about what happened inside that game space from just being able to run that single copy of the game [without a server]. At most you could admire the art. You could get a little bit of information about how they created characters and things like that, but there would be no concept about the social dynamics or the political negotiations, the very sort of things that happened in the social world around that game."