POST: The Internet Arcade and the Textures of Emulation

Matthew Battles (metaLAB at Harvard) has written a post reflecting on his recent visit to the Internet Archive, where he was given a peek into Jason Scott‘s work archiving computer software and arcade games after giving a talk at the Books in Browsers conference.

It’s technologically both antic and elegant: Jason’s system has parsed and transcoded hundreds of games, automatically playing them thousands of times to unlock levels, detect bugs, and set up screenshots to guide visitors browsing the arcade. But the technological side of the project is less interesting than its cultural dimensions (although this very dichotomy is a specious one, as the Internet Arcade itself amply demonstrates).

Battles goes on to consider the implications of emulation versus hardware preservation.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Jennie Burroughs, ​Joseph Grobelny, Arianne Hartsell-Gundy,​ Erica Hayes, Jennifer Millen, Chella Vaidyanathan, Krista White, Amy Wickner (Editors-at-large for the week), Roxanne Shirazi (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), and Zach Coble and Caro Pinto (dh+lib Review Editors).