In returning to the video game preservation debate this week following the DMCA exceptions granted to museums and archivists allowing them to archive online games, I got really angry all over again at the ESA. Earlier this year, the bajillion-dollar video game publishing industry lobby fought tooth and nail to stop preservation efforts, smearing a freakin’ charity museum as degenerate software pirates to thwart their work.
And why would they do this? They’re scared, fam. They’re terrified that this is one more step toward allowing consumers access to old online games instead of leaving us no choice but to shell out new ones. And they should be! A lot of old MMOs were awesome, and a lot of the new ones that have replaced them are not. As I put it in Overthinking, “If you’re genuinely afraid that the emulation of a 20-year-old MMORPG will cause people to stop playing your new games, maybe you should stop churning out regressive, abusively monetized garbage in 2018.” I’m absolutely convinced that MMOs belong in museums, and moreover I’m convinced that MMOs belong back in the hands the gamers who originally paid for them – “not in dusty code warehouses of people who defile the public interest in exchange for their fourth yacht.”
So let’s hear it – let’s tell the museum which MMOs it should shortlist for its negotiation efforts. We know it’s already angling for Star Wars Galaxies, City of Heroes, and WildStar. Which other MMORPGs need to be preserved?