Computer & video game collection planning

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Ryan Edge

Aug 18, 2015, 1:28:19 PM8/18/15
to LibGaming

Hi All,

We​'ve​ recently acquired an enormous collection of video and computer games, with platforms and peripherals​ (~15k in all),​ dating from c.1993 through 2014. I’m on the planning group tasked with developing the budget and policies surrounding this collection.

I’m very skeptical of treating an entire collection of predominantly ​modern games (read: non-unique, reasonably priced replacements available) as an archival Special Collection (no circulation, thus far less use). Similar collection holders have adopted a multi-tiered system for designating use: current games circulate, vintage titles (cartridges and early discs) under restricted in-house control with an "archival" designation. So I'm curious as to what degree modern games circulate in similar ​academic ​libraries — and to hear ballpark estimates of items that return catastrophically damaged?

I’d also like to hear your general Lessons Learned. Is your organization happy with the level of interest in these collections — and the nature of use? How have you prioritized cataloging of games, hardware and peripherals? And how have you worked to sustain interest and use?

Bonus Q: Any success with user surveys to distill patron expectations and gaming habits/preferences with regard to space and policies?

Any and all thoughts on unexpected outcomes (or hidden costs) are welcome.

Ryan N Edge  |  Media Preservation Librarian
Michigan State University Libraries
edger[at]msu[dot]edu  |  517-884-5929
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