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Introducing the Preserving Virtual Worlds Collection

As many readers of this blog certainly know, How They Got Game @ Stanford was involved in both of the Preserving Virtual Worlds projects, along with teams at the University of Illinois, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (U. Maryland), and the Rochester Institute of Technology.  The projects were funded by the U.S. Library of Congress-National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, respectively.
 
I am pleased to announce that the digital collections created over the course of this (roughly five years) of scoping work, research and reporting were preserved - as befits a preservation project!  These collections have been gathered together and are now available through the Stanford Digital Repository, the digital "wing" of the Stanford University Libraries (so to speak).   Note that we are not at this time able to provide open access to all of the materials, due to rights restrictions.  The good news is that you are free to use many of the digital items; if you can see it, you can use it. The collections cover eight cases investigated over the course of the two PVW projects: Spacewar!, Adventure, Star Raiders, Mystery House, SimCity, DOOM, Arteroids, and the Corrupted Blood incident in World of Warcraft.  
 
So, your next question is certainly, how do I get to this stuff?  The best place to start is with the collection page here.  You will find a brief description of the collection as a whole and a tidy set of links for the eight sub-collections.  If you follow the link for a particular set, you will be led to a PURL (Permanent URL) page like this one for DOOM.  This page will give you some additional information, like the manifest you will find here for the DOOM collection, and the  compressed "bag" of data.  
 
Keep in mind that these are not archives of the games per se, that is, not the records of the game developer.  Rather, this is a collection of materials gathered together as part of an academic project.  Although these are not comprehensive collections for each game, I think you will agree that there are a number of interesting materialsto be found here.  The gratifying thing for me about this collection is that it will be a permanent record of PVW and PVW2, and the materials that you see there now will be preserved by the Stanford University Libraries for researchers everywhere.  Enjoy!
 

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