This week we looked at Galatea, it’s a text based piece, where you, the player is introduced to Galatea and then its all up to you where the story goes from there. The player has different command words to use; ask, think, look, listen, tell. The list goes on, now the interesting things about this will be discussed after I have introduced Façade.
Now I am going to compare galatea to Façade, that I wrote about earlier, if you haven’t looked at my post or know about Façade; it’s a game where the player can input text as they want, and the game interprets the commands and tries to make the interaction as seamless at possible, Façade is a voiced game, and it is probably not a as smoot transition as I would like.
Now galatea and Façade have to different approaches to make the player interact with the game, but they are different takes on the same concept, how to let the player feel like a part of the story and not just the player experiencing a made to experience.
The main difference is that Façade lets the player type whatever they want, and as long as it is grammatically correct, the game will interact with it. Contrasting to this is the command list and topic list of Galatea, but Galatea has several things that Façade does not. Mainly the “think about” and the “tell about” command, now this makes it possible for the player to know more about the players character. In Façade there is no such option, there is times where the player may get a tidbit about the story of their character before the game, but there is very hard to follow a route that leads there, in contrast you can type “think about galatea” and get “your” thoughts about her.
Before I move on to the preservation of digital media, I would like to talk about why I think Galatea holds up to time more than Façade, even though Façade has the better/more exiting tech. the graphic of a game or the like, will always age, some better than others, depending on style and tech choices but there is also the way Façade implements the voice acting with player input, its bound to feel older and more jagged, while Galatea’s tech is still used today, and is not that far away in what text games are today. Yeah, the “few” choices compared to the endless in Façade is something to gripe about (not really) the simple design holds up better.
This leads me into the next section of this comparison: aging and preservation.
From videogames to electronic literature to webgames it is a known problem that they get outdated, and not only do they become outdated in the graphic, engine, or the scope sense, but they get outdated in the way we can experience and host them. If you look at galatea it’s a piece that you need special tools to work on your computer, now how long until that tool is no longer supported on new computers, how long until no one can experience galatea?
There are several different organizations that try to preserve different parts of our digital history. The difficulty of preserving the different types of digital media, biggest of all problems is copyright law, especially in America, even modding machines or using emulators is not legal in many countries.
There is a lot of work being done to preserve the digital history, but it’s very difficult to do, the digital world is so large and ever expanding, making digital preservation an almost impossible job.
Here are some of the different organizations that try to preserve digital works, games, websites and other.
Here is games history and they try to preserve games media and different publications of games magazines
Here is a Japanese organization that preserves games and games media, they have over 40,000 games
Here is the Wikipedia article on digital preservation.