KEEP at Nordic Games
Keep Project presented major questions of the Keep activities to the members of the Game Development Community at the Nordic Game Conference on May 19th in Malmö, Sweden.
Nordic Game is one of the major Game Developer Conferences in Europe, specifically focusing to the Game Developer Communities of the Nordic countries, but open for other European activities. Nordic Game is specifically well known for the open interference between academic and similar communities at the Game Developer Community. There is less differentiation made between those communities and the commercial communities in the Scandinavia and the Nordic countries.
The Nordic Game Conference 2009 cue about 1500 Developers from the Nordic countries and round the globe to Malmö just north of the Öresundbridge from Copenhagen. The Workshop of the Keep Project at Nordic Game was one of the important highlights of this year’s conference. Members of the Keep Community discussed during the conference with members of the Nordic and European Game Developer Community the specifications of the Keep Project.
Dr Malte Behrmann opened the workshop as a moderator and greeted the representatives of the Game Developer Community and other communities as for example the Danish and Swedish national libraries.
Pierre Echegaray from the Bibliothéque nationale de France (the project coordinator) gave the introductory keynote. His keynote was followed by a second keynote from Andreas Lange from the Computerspielmuseum in Germany.
Session 1: Cultural relevance of European preservation of Videogames
Session summary: “Today we percieve Games as cultural goods. They play an important role in media perception. The very success of cimputing technology has created a serious and growing challenge of how to preserve access to digital material produced on obsolete machines. What cultural implications do we need to respect, if we consider this topic sincerely?”
The discussion was opened to the panel. The participants contributed with their comments, additional information and questions. Here I would highlight especially Stan Selander and Thierry Platon from Sweden and France representing the Game Developers Communities.
In the discussions itself it became obvious that from a Swedish point of few it is very important to become part of a standardization process. There are different activities similar to KEEP already going on in Sweden. Thierry Platon from France talked especially about his culture experience being a game designer for a very long time and having designed actually some of the games which today are conserved through mechanisms which are represented by the Keep Community.
He was very supportive to the project and offered as did Stan Selander every help for support after the workshop by offline activities for the consortium.
The Discussion itself went about possibilities of culture implication of the Keep Project result to the Game Developer Community.
Session 2: Technical challenges in computer game preservation and emulation
Session summary: “What technical specifications needs KEEP to respect?”
The 2nd session after the lunch was opened by Dan Pinchbeck from the University of Portsmouth. The panel itself opened the flour for Vincent Jougin and Bram Loham of the the Keep Project. Hendrik Lesser from Munich and Dino Dini, a game designer from the UK, represented the Game Developer Community. Hendrik Lesser pointed at a credit specification activity at the IGDA and also made sure, that the credits problem could be one of the key problems of the KEEP activity. Dino Dimi supported this.
The project altogether supported the idea of a European wide standard of a game emulation processes. It was discussed how to convince the game developer community to implement meta-data (probably best in connection with deposit requirements on a legal basis). Within the discussion came the idea of having also a negative as a result of a KEEP Project to actually change the European director for copyright law into way, that for very restricted reasons of conservation of computer games as culture goods copyright laws can be broken as an exception. This was imaginably seen as a good idea.
Overall the workshop was very much appreciated by the members of the KEEP consortium and also by the Game Developer Community.
by Dr. Malte Behrmann