|By David Strom||
|December 1, 2012 11:37 AM EST||
This week, video games got some love when the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced they are acquiring more than a dozen games and putting them on display in the museum next spring. MoMA follows a major exhibit this past summer at the Smithsonian in DC and other NYC based museums this coming winter to put games and their developers in their galleries.
I will confess: I am not a gamer. I started a gaming website back when I was running the editorial operations for Tom’s Hardware in 2006. At the time I worked with a number of gaming journalists and met and interviewed many gamers, including some that made a very nice living from their gaming activities. But I think it is great that games are going into our top museums, for one very important reason: we need them to be preserved and to be played for years to come.
I can’t believe that it has been nearly 20 years when I spent several weeks of my life playing the game Myst. I tried in vain to figure out all of its clever puzzles and pathways. Myst was a big hit back in the day: it sold millions of copies and it raised the bar from crude graphics and beeping computer generated noises that were found in many of the early games. I got out my software and took it for a spin last week, and it was interesting to see how its graphics were not anything like today’s games, but the included audio was still superb. Indeed, I left the sounds of the ocean lapping up against the rocky island playing while I was working, and it was very soothing.
Playing Myst is a good metaphor for many subsequent games: Myst starts out a total puzzle, and as you gain skills and understand the sequence of play involved, you get drawn into the universe of the game and loose track of real life and elapsed time. There have been many such games since then, all building on top of more capable graphics and processor hardware to create some very life-like universes.
I stopped being interested in Myst once my frustrations mounted. I bought the cheater book and worked my way through to the end of the game. But it left an impression in me and I always thought of games as being basically good, even those first-person-shooters that leave plenty of carnage in their wake.
Are video games worthy of being in a museum? Definitely yes. Here is why. While trying to figure out which computer I was going to reinstall Myst on, I came across all sorts of limitations. Myst doesn’t run on any modern Mac processor, and I eventually went to a machine running Windows XP with a five year-old graphics card that worked just fine. But many games are more archaic and need specialized hardware or emulators to run on modern PCs.
This is where museums can make a difference. Many games are tied up in a complex web of IP rights and legal restrictions that prevent anyone from easily obtaining their source code, or recompiling them to run in the cloud or on another platform than they were originally written for. Or they include likenesses of individuals who either don’t want them used.
Preserving a game isn’t as easy as just buying an old Nintendo and bolting it to a pedestal in some gallery. As MoMA explains, apart from the actual game software, hardware and source code:
“Many companies may already have emulations or other digital assets for both display and archival purposes, which we should also acquire. In addition, we request any corroborating technical documentation, and possibly an annotated report of the code by the original designer or programmer.” MoMA will also put together a video demo or some other interactive demonstration, in which the game can be played for a limited amount of time to give visitors a better idea of the game without having to start from level 1.
For some of the virtual immersive worlds, MoMA will “work with players and designers to create guided tours of these alternate worlds, so the visitor can begin to appreciate the extent and possibilities of the complex gameplay.”
A few years ago, the film critic Roger Ebert stated that games weren’t art and created an online fracas. He as since recanted, or at least moved back somewhat from his original position. But whether you feel that games are art, or design, or just a evil of today’s society, they do deserve to be preserved for future generations. And I am glad that my eventual grandchildren (no, none yet on the horizon) will be able to witness the wonder that is Myst many years from now, even if it means a trip to a museum.
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
Aug. 2, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 222
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
Aug. 2, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 327
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 471
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 344
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 154
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Aug. 2, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,695
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
Aug. 2, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 172
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Aug. 2, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 174
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Aug. 1, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 669
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 1, 2015 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 496
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Aug. 1, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 528
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Aug. 1, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 191
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 331
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 401
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Aug. 1, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 197