Chris Burke is... The Edi­tor

Chris wants to pre­serve the legacy of videogames

XBox: The Official Magazine - - INSIDER -

Bring up the lights, pre­pare to be daz­zled by cam­era flashes and the bring up the mu­sic as, to the strains of ‘Hooray For Hol­ly­wood’, I bring you this month’s col­umn from La La Land! I’m in Cal­i­for­nia for the big Bor­der­lands 3 re­veal event at a se­cret lo­ca­tion in Los An­ge­les that’s al­lowed OXM hands-on game­play op­por­tu­ni­ties and a chance to chat with the lovely Gear­box team about its lat­est looter-shooter.

But more on that else­where this month. Be­ing a Brit in Los An­ge­les al­ways gives me huge Los San­tos vibes, like the whole sun­shine-drenched place is a hy­per-real lo­ca­tion in a videogame; ev­ery street name is etched into my pop-cul­ture lov­ing brain, and mixed in with the gaudy tack­i­ness of the gift shop-lined Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard are bar and store names that feel like they were made up by the Housers, like red­neck-themed bar The Rusty Mul­let.

Of course Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard is also home to the fa­mous side­walk-stars cel­e­brat­ing the great and good of the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try. In the ’50s, the Hol­ly­wood Cham­ber Of Com­merce came up with the idea to “main­tain the glory of a com­mu­nity whose name means glamour and ex­cite­ment in the four cor­ners of the world”, that re­sulted in the im­mor­tal­is­ing of key play­ers in brass, black and coral paving slabs along the Hol­ly­wood Walk Of Fame. Step­ping out across these fas­ci­nat­ing mon­u­ments, it strikes me that the games in­dus­try as yet has no such legacy. While games have been around for a lot less time than films, we are surely reach­ing a point now where not only are newer games in­creas­ingly be­ing rightly recog­nised as a valid and valu­able art form, but as gen­er­a­tions grow old with their nos­tal­gia for retro games, we’re nonethe­less in dan­ger of ac­tu­ally for­get­ting the con­tri­bu­tions of the artists and devel­op­ers who created such great games over the years.

Back at OXM Tow­ers, the team has been con­sid­er­ing an all-digital fu­ture, what with the re­lease of a disc-less Xbox One S; and one of our con­cerns is not the loss of discs for their own sake, but rather the preser­va­tion of our col­lec­tions of old games. It’s a young in­dus­try, but its legacy should not be dis­pos­able.

Sav­ing progress

So what should be done to pre­serve the legacy of videogames? I’d love to see some filthy-rich bene­fac­tor give all their money to the es­tab­lish­ment of a Mu­seum Of Gam­ing, to pre­serve ev­ery sin­gle game ever made. Or if not ev­ery game, per­haps then a gam­ing equiv­a­lent of the Hol­ly­wood Cham­ber Of Com­merce (per­haps based at Stan­ford Univer­sity, to recog­nise the boffins that came up with Pong) could reg­u­larly vote on their in­clu­sion. We could then look at hav­ing our own mon­u­ments. In­stead of side­walk stars, we could have pave­ment Pac-Men, fes­tooned with the names of Sea­mus Black­ley, the Housers, Ed Boon, Yu Suzuki, the guys who in­vented rogue­likes; you get the idea. Like the movie stars’ hand and foot­prints at Hol­ly­wood’s Chi­nese The­ater, we could have fa­mous devel­op­ers’ thumbprint­s pre­served in as­phalt, per­haps out­side the first video ar­cade to open in Bournemout­h? OK, so maybe not that. But it has to be worth tabling the de­bate over the preser­va­tion of gam­ing his­tory ASAP. In this age of free-to-play, leased games and digital down­loads that die with a con­sole gen­er­a­tion, where will we go for our game nos­tal­gia when we’re all sit­ting round the old folks’ home boast­ing about how we once beat Dark Souls? Keep­ing discs is only as good as hav­ing a work­ing con­sole that will still play them. I have piles of Xbox discs. Will they end up in the at­tic, next to the boxes of ZX Spec­trum cas­settes that I can’t bear to part with, but can’t use ei­ther? Or, are we headed for a digital fu­ture so bright that Mi­crosoft ends up pre­serv­ing ev­ery­thing that ever ap­peared on Xbox in a per­ma­nent game li­brary on a cloud beamed into space, that we can play any time we want on our Mi­crosoft X-im­plants we’ve had plugged into our cere­bral cor­texes? God, I hope so. Fol­low us @oxm on Twit­ter.

“It’s a young in­dus­try, but its legacy should not be dis­pos­able”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.