Game Preservation and Remakes

There was a panel at DiGRA’09 about game preservation that asked questions about how to preserve games, what to preserve, what was being done, etc. One thing that struck me then and now is how the trope of preservation is truly opposed in some ways to the logics of the remake that I wrote of previously.

Preservation is to keep an old thing in a usable state: to freeze it. On the surface, this is similar to what the remake does: it takes something and preserves (a part of) it for usage. Of course, the key difference is that whereas preservation thinks to hardware, greater experience (as well as the futility of this due to data decay), remakes take one single element as something worthwhile: they story and general play or rule set as it might be called.

Game preservation efforts and remakes preserve different things. So what about the demake? Well, it seems to preserve the other elements. While a remake preserves story/play, a demake preserves graphics/sound/hardware. Finally, the preservation efforts try to preserve both sides.

Now where does this then place preservation, or I’ll say it simply: museum historicism, on the one hand and logics of repetition on the other? Are they anathematic or related?

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