British Library to build video games archive

The British Library is planning to build an archive of video games produced in the United Kingdom.

Since 1662, it has been a legal requirement for at least one copy of every printed publication to be sent to the venerable institution making it one of the most complete archives in the world.

Now plans are afoot to require the games industry to do the same, but there is a fear that may titles from the British gaming boom of the 70s, 80s and 90s could already be lost.

The British Library's digital preservation expert Paul Wheatley is currently working alongside the National Videogame Archive but, according to an Independent report, many retro games may already be lost forever.

He told the newspaper: "The games publishing industry recognises the value in preserving their computer games and many in the industry that I've talked to could relay horror stories about old material disappearing or being left to gradually decay in a box under someone's desk."

I'm sure I've got a copy of Manic Miner for the ZX Spectrum somewhere in the loft. I must dig it out.