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Understanding the “Expanded Notion” of Videogames as Archival Objects: A Review of Priorities, Methods, and Conceptions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2018 (English)In: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, ISSN 2330-1635, E-ISSN 2330-1643, Vol. 69, no 1, p. 134-145Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to show how videogames are construed as archival objects in the videogame-preservation literature by investigating drivers and motivations, selection of material, and methods of preservation. The review focuses on the expanded notion of videogames (“the EN”), a concept this paper introduces to collectively refer to the cultural and social aspects of videogames—for example, game culture, experiences, play, and community life and activity. The study's research aims are pursued on the basis of a critical systematic literature review of 42 publications originating from academic research and videogame-archiving projects. The study's main finding is that the archiving literature construes the EN of videogames in three principal ways: i) as an essential part of the videogame as an archival object; ii) as a useful resource in archiving videogames, able to provide documentation of game culture and social context; and iii) as a useful resource in inquiries focused on the current state and recent history of society and culture from a sociotechnical viewpoint. The study suggests videogame community dynamics, videogame ontology, the development of archival theory, and videogame-archive studies as rewarding directions for further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 69, no 1, p. 134-145
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336747DOI: 10.1002/asi.23875ISI: 000418157900012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-336747DiVA, id: diva2:1166838
Available from: 2017-12-16 Created: 2017-12-16 Last updated: 2018-04-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Documenting Videogame Communities: A Study of Community Production of Information in Social-Media Environments and its Implications for Videogame Preservation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Documenting Videogame Communities: A Study of Community Production of Information in Social-Media Environments and its Implications for Videogame Preservation
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Drawing on the disciplines of library and information studies and archival studies, this study seeks to explore the production of information in online videogame communities and to elucidate how such insights can offer practical and conceptual support to the knotty issue of how to preserve those sociocultural aspects of videogames that exist 'beyond' the code and audiovisual data resources of the videogame itself. This is accomplished in two principal moves: (i) by delving into the current state of socioculturally-focused videogame preservation and; (ii) by inquiring into the production of information carried out by videogame communities in what arguably is one of their most important interfaces of interaction—discussion forums, wikis, and other social-media services. The study is based on four papers (I–IV). Paper I develops the theoretical framework of the study on the basis of practice theory and document theory. Papers II and III report on field-studies of videogame-community information production in the context of two processes of importance in community social life: memory-making (II) and knowledge production (III). Paper IV offers a qualitative systematic review of videogame-archiving literature, allowing Papers I–III to be situated in an archival context. The study employs multiple methods and encompasses several empirical sites of inquiry and was inspired by the framework of exploratory research and of 'bricolage' research strategies.

The results of the study add to the present state of knowledge on how information in the social-media environments of the large and influential present-day videogaming domain emerges as a result of community practices of production, and how videogame-community social life is entangled with information production in such spaces. The study also furthers archival inquiry on the topic of videogame preservation by providing a description and analysis of what information objects videogame-related social media plausibly hold, and by what communal practices and processes they have been brought into existence. Furthermore, the study examines the consequences of collecting community-produced social media and framing it as documentation of the sociocultural aspects of videogames—a key issue in videogames preservation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of ALM, 2018. p. 164
Series
Skrifter utgivna vid institutionen för ABM vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1652-5353 ; 7
Keywords
Videogames, Videogame preservation, Practice theory, Documents, Documentation, Memory-making, Knowledge production, Social media, ALM
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-336748 (URN)978-91-506-2676-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-02, Humanistiska Teatern, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-02-13

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