Media Archaeology Lab

Databases and Archives
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2018
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The motto of this lab is that “the past must be lived so that the present can be seen.” Nearly all digital media labs are conceived of as a place for experimental research using the most up-to-date, cutting-edge tools available; however, the MAL (previously called the AML, or Archeological Media Lab)—which is, as far as we know, the first of its kind in North America—is a place for cross-disciplinary experimental research and teaching using the tools, the software and platforms, from the past. The MAL, then, is propelled equally by the need to maintain access to early works of electronic literature (and note too that, given how quickly technology changes, sometimes an “early work of electronic literature” may have been created as recent as 2001 and is similarly no longer viewable on current platforms) and by the need to archive and maintain the computers these works were created on. We envision, however, that this lab will house not only the computers on which early works of electronic literature were written, but it will also house stand-alone works of electronic literature (such as those works written in Storyspace and published by Eastgate Systems) as well as early text-adventure games such as Adventure and Zork. It will also “archive” gaming systems such as Pong, Intellivision, Atari 2600, and ColecoVision.

Source: blog-post by Lori Emerson

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Patricia Tomaszek