The Point: The fight to preserve dead video gamesP.T. has been taken off the PlayStation Network. But it's only one of thousands of games that will be lost to time unless copyright law changes. GameSpot's Danny O'Dwyer travels to the Oakland Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment to uncover the sad,...
Oh hey, what's up? Welcome to the point. I'm your host Danny O'Dwyer. So early this week, Konami decided to take PC off the Playstation network. Meaning anyone who didn't already have it downloaded to their Playstation 4 won't be able to access it even if they have it on their Playstation library. Oh my god. So what does this mean? Well for Konami it means that it's served its commercial purpose, they're not gonna make Silent Hills cause there's no point in having that demo up there. But what about its other uses? What about its other values? Its value as an educational tool for designers, its value for the, the grand scope of video game's culture or for video game history? This is nothing new. Video games disappear all the time. Lost cartridges, evolving hardware, and defunct companies all make getting access to old games much more difficult than other mediums. Like books, music, or film. You can stream loads of old music and movies or play DVDs or have a library collection of your favorite books. But software is tied to constantly evolving hardware. So to play many old games today we need to copy and emulate them on modern machines. Meaning for decades it's been the role of pirates to be criminal protectors. Of our video game history. Well, we have a new problem. Online games. Games that require servers to run. How do we keep these playable when a publisher decides they don't wanna pay for the server upkeep anymore? For instance, how will gamers 50 years from now be able to go back and see one of the most important games of this era, World of Warcraft? Well, one way would be to allow fans and preservation groups to run private Servers, but sadly this form of preservation is illegal without consent, and as a recent scuffle between the electronic frontier foundation and the games industry publisher group the ESA showed, publishers aren't interested in giving consent, no matter how long the game's been dead. So what are we to do? This is a real crisis for game preservation, with decades-old copyright laws making it nigh on impossible to legally preserve With software, is there any hope for saving this milestone in gaming's heritage, or are we on the verge of losing thousands of games forever. We're here in Oakland, California to find out. We're here to talk to the good folks at the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment about the battle for video game preservation. The Point. Season three, episode 12: The War on Game Preservation. [MUSIC] Welcome to the MADE, the Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment