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National Film and Sound Archive of Australia to begin preserving video games

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia has announced plans to collect and preserve Australian video games. 

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has announced plans to collect and preserve Australian video games. 

Eight titles have already been selected for preservation, ranging from new releases like Florence and Hollow Knight to vintage morsels such as The Hobbit and Shadowrun

The full selection spans almost 40 years of Australian video game history, and according to NFSA chief exec Jan Muller "provides an overview of the evolution of the medium."

"[Our initial selection also gives us] an opportunity to identify the archival challenges in preserving the different technologies employed - both software and hardware," explained Muller. 

"It has also allowed us to build relationships in this sector. Games creators have been excited by the concept and honored to be among the first included, and the response from gaming professionals and peak bodies has been incredibly encouraging."

Further outlining the NFSA's goals, Muller explained the group wants to digitally preserve selected games, alongside any available storyboards, artwork, soundtracks and publicity materials. In the long-term, he hopes the NFSA will be able to establish itself as the "national leader in collecting multimedia and new media content."

With that in mind, the group will collect new titles on an "ongoing basis," and will tweak its process as it begins to understand and solve the challenges surrounding software and hardware obsolescence, long-term storage and access, and rights and proprietorial platforms. You can find the full list of preserved titles below. 

  • The Hobbit (Beam Software, 1982)
  • Halloween Harry (Interactive Binary Illusions / Sub Zero Software, 1985/1993)
  • Shadowrun (Beam Software, 1993)
  • L.A. Noire (Team Bondi, 2011)
  • Submerged (Uppercut Games, 2015)
  • Hollow Knight (Team Cherry, 2017)
  • Florence (Mountains, 2018)
  • Espire 1: VR Operative (Digital Lode, 2019)

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