(sharon) #1
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

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’ thumb-
prints 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. Q

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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


Chris wants to preserve the legacy of videogames

The Editor

Chris Burke is...

“It’s a young

industry, but its

legacy should not

be disposable”


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