Michigan State University Libraries' video game collection primarily aims to support teaching, learning, research, recreation, and competitive play among several key constituencies—starting with faculty and students from the Games and Interactive Media BA major and minor, researchers at any level, individuals and communities (such as registered student organizations) who enjoy games, and MSU Esports athletes. The collection also supports myriad fields of study interested in various aspects of the video game industry: from history to packaging; English to sociology; business to various arts (music, graphic, etc.), and beyond. Nearly any discipline can engage with video games academically, and any curricular requests are considered.
History of collection
The collection began as a single donation of approximately 18,000 items from the Rovi Corporation in 2015. Prior to that time, some game items were held as part of the DMC Supplemental Software collection. A collection fund was established in 2022-23 academic year, and new purchases continue according to various selection methods and criteria.
Physical games on disc and cartridge media
For TV-connected consoles produced ~1995-2018
For handheld consoles from 1990 forward
Not comprehensive, but wide coverage of mass-market games released for each supported hardware system
PC games (IBM, Mac) by volume (roughly 1/3 of Rovi donation)
Active use of game media; preservation of related ephemera
PC games (IBM, Mac) access, due to difficulty supporting legacy formats on modern hardware and operating systems
Games for TV-connected consoles before 1995
Any library video game collection
Cataloging is more complex, and standards are less well established as compared with non-game library materials
Optical media has a limited lifespan, and titles tend not to be reprinted many years after the original production run ends