Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Our Original Collection Plan

I thought it might be interesting to share our collection plan for the video game collection. Below you'll find a large portion of the original collection plan that we wrote last November. A few things have changed since then as far as specifics, but it's still largely what we plan to do.

Collection Plan - Computer and Video Game Archive


Although long considered just another facet of entertainment culture, computer and video games (hereafter: games, or CVG) have over the past several years become an interest of academic study. A true interdisciplinary field, games touch upon aspects of computer science, art & design, communications studies, sociology, and more.

Just as films are used outside of film studies, we anticipate that in coming years games will be of interest in an even wider range of academic disciplines.

In addition, lessons from games are beginning to be looked at as useful in the development of educational technology.

With its growing commitment to interdisciplinary studies and the growing faculty interest in games, U-M seems ripe for the development of a games archive.

With collections and subject expertise in both art & computer science, the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library is a logical place for such a collection to be based. In addition, the proximity and working relationships that AAEL has with CAEN and the Digital Media Commons make the Duderstadt Center uniquely suited in its information commons role to host such an archive.


The CVG Archive seeks to collect materials relating to games for the purpose of academic inquiry, including but not limited to: programming and technology; artistic and literary expression; social and cultural impact; instruction and education.


Computer Games: Games that are played using a multi-purpose personal computer
Video Games: Games that are played using a dedicated gaming system


The CVG Archive will collect:
  • Games for current generation game systems and computer platforms, with a preference for games which are critically lauded, innovative, or important.
  • Games for previous game systems and computer platforms which are of historical significance.
  • Games developed at the University of Michigan
  • Hardware on which to run games, both current and historical
  • Support material: books on games, programming, playing guides, history & sociology of games, etc.

Space & Access

A dedicated room for the gaming archive will be maintained. This space will have:
  1. Shelving for game cases/boxes. Due to the differing sizes of game cases and boxes, the shelving will need to be flexible
  2. Storage for extra controllers and equipment
  3. Service desk for customer service
  4. Gaming stations. Each gaming station will have room for two players to sit side-by-side. Headphones available/required:
    • Current-Generation: With a PS3, X-Box 360, Wii; hooked up to a smallish (19-20") flat panel HDTV
    • Previous-generation: With a PS2, X-Box, GameCube; hooked up to a 20" CRT
    • Classic consoles: Intellivision, Atari 2600, others; hooked up to a 20" CRT
    • PC Gaming: A high-end gaming PC with a 24" flat panel display.
    • Classic computer games: An Apple IIe, a Commodore 64, a Mac SE/30, and an ‘old-school’ (DOS?) PC.
  5. Active Gaming Space: Space with room enough for a couple of DDR pads on the floor. A Wii, PS3, X-Box 360 hooked up to a wall mounted large HDTV (hardware shared with gaming station). This will be space for ‘active’ games or for larger groups to sit and play.
  6. Access to the CVG space will be restricted to available hours and by appointment.

Games will be for in-house use and will not circulate, so as to ensure availability for research use. (The Undergraduate Library is considering a circulating gaming collection.)

Popular computer games will be pre-loaded onto the gaming PCs; others may need to be installed by an attendant.

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