Michigan State University

Video Game Collection Development Policy Statement

Written by Jonah Magar, August 2023

Purpose or Scope of Collection

  • Curricular/research/programmatic needs
    • 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.
  • Strengths
    • 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
  • Weaknesses
    • MSUL collection
      • 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

Gaming Coordinator

Profile Photo
Jonah Magar
He / They