Unrecognized Legacy: an exploration of video game preservation as cultural heritage

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
Degree programme
(Mikkeli) Bachelor’s Program in International Business
58 + 4
Objectives The main objectives of this exploratory study were to (1) explore the paramount arguments for preserving video games as cultural heritage, (2) assess their artistic value, (3) examine their societal impact and (4) alternative benefits, and (5) identify artificial barriers to preservation and examine their effects on the field's adoption and development. Summary The study adopted a qualitative approach to delve into the intricacies of preservation through the perspectives of relevant stakeholders from various parts of the industry. Given the diverse backgrounds of the participants, the questions used in each interview were adapted to the interviewees’ profession but still followed some central objectives. These included examining the interviewees' recognition and cultural significance of video games, reviewing the preservation efforts taken by the interviewees and their organizations, identifying challenges of preservation, proposing strategies to improve future preservation efforts, and discussing the interviewees' future careers in the context of game preservation. Conclusions By conducting a thorough review of the relevant literature and consulting with industry experts, the study had identified three key factors that have contributed to this problem: a lack of appreciation, compensation, and collaboration. These findings could serve as a common language to guide stakeholders involved in game preservation on which areas to prioritize and with whom to collaborate to facilitate a more sustainable preservation future. Only by working together can we truly make a meaningful impact toward materializing video game preservation as cultural heritage.
Thesis advisor
Hassan, Lobna
game preservation, game conservation, cultural heritage, digital heritage
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