Video games “cultural heritage” in the “French Library”

The French National Library in Paris, along with old books, films and audio documents, owns one of the largest collections of video games, comprising about 2,000 of them, such as “Juke Boxes”, “Game Boy” and “Magnavox Odyssey”, carefully preserved and classified as a “cultural heritage”. In every sense of the word.”

Those looking to check out these video games should visit one of the four towers, each 79 meters high and comprising 22 floors, in the François Mitterrand Library in southwest Paris (named after the former French president who ruled France between 1981 and 1995).

In the middle of the two phonographs and “Juke Box”, about 10 devices to play video games that reflect the history of these games were displayed inside two facades, including “Game Boy” from “Nintendo”, “Atari Linux”, “Sega Saturn” and “Magnavox” The very rare Odyssey, which was introduced to the American market in 1972.

“We keep these video game players to make future researchers who will appear in 10 years, even hundreds of years, understand how we played these video games, and what equipment was used while playing,” says Laurent Dublois, head of the multimedia department at the French National Library.

This library move remains somewhat secret; Old video game tools are collected and preserved under a 1992 law that provides for the “legal deposit” of multimedia documents.

Although the text of the law does not explicitly mention video games, it includes interactive programs, and thus video games, within this preservation mechanism. The library should include two copies of each video game, the first for preservation and the second for visitors to view.

The library was able to collect 2000 similar documents annually thanks to the work of a team of 20 people who were entrusted with this task, in addition to group administrators, warehouse custodians and engineers.

In addition to the video game players displayed in the library, the last one includes in one of the lower layers, thousands of games deposited in dark storage rooms and fixed at 19 degrees Celsius, in addition to storing them in a way that protects them from moisture.

The games have been put back into custom boxes, while each game has its own classification to be indexed in the public library directory.


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