Best Before : Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence book cover
1st Edition

Best Before
Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence

ISBN 9780415577922
Published June 12, 2012 by Routledge
192 Pages

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Book Description

Despite record sales and an ever-growing global industry, the simple fact is that videogames are disappearing.

Most obviously, the physical deterioration of discs, cartridges, consoles and controllers means that the data and devices will crumble to dust and eventually will be lost forever. However, there is more to the disappearance of videogames than plastic corrosion and bit rot. Best Before examines how the videogames industry's retail, publishing, technology design, advertising and marketing practices actively produce obsolescence, wearing out and retiring old games to make way for the always new, just out of reach, 'coming soon' title and 'next generation' platform.

Set against the context of material deterioration and the discursive production of obsolescence, Best Before examines the conceptual and practical challenges faced within the nascent field of game preservation. Understanding videogames as rich, complex and mutable texts and experiences that are supported and sustained by cultures of gameplay and fandom, Best Before considers how - and even whether - we might preserve and present games for future generations.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Videogames are Disappearing  Chapter 2. New Games  Chapter 3. Old Games  Chapter 4. Game(play) Preservation

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James Newman is Professor of Digital Media and Director of the Media Futures Research Centre at Bath Spa University. He is the author of numerous books on videogames and gaming cultures including Videogames (2004) and Playing with Videogames (2008). James is a co-founder of the National Videogame Archive which is a partnership with the National Media Museum and is a co-producer of the GameCity international videogames festival.