The University of Toronto Mississauga has acquired a mammoth collection of video games – ranging from vintage Atari titles to modern PlayStation and Xbox games – that will open up exciting new avenues for academic research, CBC News reports.
The collection, which includes over 14,000 games, around 5,000 magazines and dozens of consoles and systems, was compiled by late programmer Syd Bolton. CBC News reported Bolton’s wife reached out to U of T Mississauga to ensure the collection is preserved for public use.“In terms of academic study, it's really important to look at the history of something that has such a pervasive impact on everyday life,” said Chris Young, head of collections and digital scholarship at U of T Mississauga Library, whose team is working to organize and catalogue the collection.
Stephanie Fisher, research officer at U of T, said she hopes the collection will help foster more involvement in gaming from groups that are under-represented in the industry, while Siobhan O’Flynn, an assistant professor, teaching stream, in the department of English and drama at U of T Mississauga, said the collection represents an “extraordinary” scholarly resource.
“To be able to go back and play these titles with perspective from 2022, and to think about the impact of these games in their own moment and their cultural moment and in the context of design but also how we perceive this today, is going to be incredibly enlightening,” O’Flynn told CBC News.