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The New York Public Library wants devs to make games using its collections

The New York Public Library is making its own games and encouraging devs to make more using its online archives of maps, images and other public domain materials.

Alex Wawro, Contributor

February 16, 2016

1 Min Read

On Valentine's Day Motherboard published a neat feature about how the New York Public Library is encouraging creators to make things using its online archives of maps, images and other public domain materials.

Game developers are the chief focus of the article, and it's notable that library staff view games as a powerful vehicle for getting these old troves of public domain works out into the public consciousness. 

"To fully realize our mission as a library we wanted to make these collections fully accessible and encourage their reuse," Library representative Shana Kimball told Motherboard. "Digitization we see as a first step [...] but what do you see beyond, what comes after that? How do you engage with it?"

The Library has released a few simple games (like Mansion Maniac, pictured) of its own, published online as Public Domain Remixes, which were developed by members of its NYPL Labs team using public domain materials and released for free with source code access.

Incidentally, the New York Public Library is also accepting project proposals for its NYPL Labs Remix Residency initiative, which could afford developers intrigued by the library's efforts the opportunity to pitch game projects that utilize public domain materials in interesting ways. 

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