Athene Numphe (athene) wrote,
Athene Numphe
athene

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The Museum of Role Playing Games

For my Survey of Digitization class, we have to blog once a week about an online digital collection. When lordaerith was doing his interests collage I noticed an image for the "Museum of Role Playing Games." Upon checking it out, I realized that it was an online digital collection. I'm not allowed to post a link to the blog, so I decided to re-post it here. If it seems somewhat critical, it's because our entries are more concerned with the set up of the collection than the contents of the collection itself.

The Museum of Role Playing Games is a primarily online museum dedicated to old Role Playing Games (RPGs). On the main, "Lobby," page, it is stated that this collection is for out of print games that are rare, impossible to find, and date back to the beginning of the hobby.

The navigation of the site is very easy to use. The RPGs are grouped in to categories and then listed under each category. The page about an individual RPG had links back to the lobby at both the top and bottom of the page as well as a link to a close up of the cover. The page about the close up of the cover have links to the lobby, the review of the game, and the previous and next images. There is no search engine, but as the collection is rather small, it is not needed.

The curator of the museum is interested in both the objects themselves and the information they contain. Although there is no formal cataloging nomenclature involved, each game is described in great detail. Metadata about each game includes the name of the game, publisher, copyright date, author(s), and illustrator(s). Also documented are the "physical components of the game" such as the dimensions and number of pages of a rules book or contents of a box set. Supplements to the main game are also documented with title, author, and year they came out. The museum also documents which printing it holds and if the RPG was donated to the museum, if it was not already in the curator's personal collection. Besides the basic metadata information, each site gives a detailed description of the game, how it is played, and even some personal memories of the curator.

Each game has a link to a larger image of its cover and many have links to images of the back cover or back of the box. Also, some of the pages have small pictures of illustrations from within the books, although there is no larger image of these. These let you get an idea of the feel of the game. However, the images seem to be in both jpg and gif format, which makes me worry about their permanence and quality. Other than getting the larger image, there is no way of further interacting with the documents, nor are there any scans of the internal pages of the books themselves. This could be an issue in terms of the validity of the rules and game play description.

This collection is intended for gamers, those who play RPGs, who are interested in earlier or out of print games. The collection does an execellent job of serving this interest. The detailed descriptions give an interested gamer an idea of what playing the game was like and help to give an understanding into the development of more modern RPGs, such as Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. The images of the covers help the gamer see what the book would have looked like and maybe even help her identify if she has one of these rare games on her own bookshelf.
Tags: gaming, grad school
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