Fighting for Video Game Preservation and the DMCA Debate

This week we had a very special podcast on the subject of video game preservation and arguments from the EFF and ESA. My guest this week is Kendra Albert who is currently a law student at Harvard who helped file the exemption request with the EFF that I talked about previously.

video game preservation

We started with talking about what the EFF is and their role both in the Game Industry and when it comes to the online space and digital media. Kendra talked about how the exemption for DMCA 1201 came about while she was interning their last summer. Then we talked about what online server authentication is and why it is proving to be a problem not just with the Game Industry but with other sectors as well.

Kendra brought up a point that I’m sure fans of this cast will completely agree with: That many publishers feel that multiplayer isn’t a part of the experience and why that is normally a justification for turning off game servers. We also talked about the struggle to get both consumers and publishers to care about preserving video games. I also brought up the legal options available to play older games and some of the problems with them.

The next topic was a very interesting one as Kendra shared with me about the challenges that go with filing an exemption and some of the legal issues involved. This is something that most people don’t know about and it was great to learn something new.

For the final topic, we brought this back to the ESA’s stance on the issue and the problems that we had with their explanation about how the exemption could lead to piracy. This lead into a brief tangent talking about how the Indie market is really bringing classic games back to the forefront with many developers building games based on those classic designs that aren’t made in the AAA market anymore.

Normally I don’t say this but this is a cast that I really want those of you listening and reading these notes to share with everyone. This is an important topic and critical to this industry that a lot of people aren’t aware about. As we said on the cast, we need to have more debates about it and the word needs to get out.