Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois
The Preserving Virtual Worlds (PVW) project is an on-going investigation into the preservation of computer games and interactive fiction, being conducted by the University of Illinois, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the University of Maryland. With funding provided by the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), the PVW project team conducted a socio-technical examination of how computer games differ from other digital objects with respect to preservation, and the extent to which existing digital preservation standards and technologies adequately support the long-term preservation of these complex artifacts. A significant outcome of this research was the development of a Web Ontology Language (OWL) incorporating concepts from both the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model and Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), which can be employed with packaging standards such as Bagit, OAI-ORE and METS for the creation of Archival Information Packages for games.
The Preserving Virtual Worlds project has now entered a second phase with additional funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This second phase will focus on the identification of significant properties of computer games and attempt to develop a framework for determining appropriate preservation strategies based on a particular game’s significant properties. This briefing will provide an overview of the research conducted to date, including a detailed description of the Preserving Virtual Worlds’ ontology, and discuss some preliminary findings from our research on games’ significant properties.