A newly elected official in Japan has announced his intention to implement a legal framework to preserve games and keep them in a playable state.
As reported by Automaton, Ken Akamatsu recently won a seat on Japan's House of Counsellors and is due to take office on July 26th. In a statement on Twitter on July 13th, he announced that he is forming a team of experts to embark on his proposal, elaborating on his desire for it to succeed.
Roughly translated, the Tweet reads:
From 20:00 yesterday, the digital copyright PT of the Legal System Subcommittee of the Digital Archive Society.
Regarding "legal preservation of past games in a playable state", it was decided to form a selection team with experts and embark on it. Archiving and utilizing old content that is being lost is an area where I have a strong enthusiasm. I want this to succeed.
Akamatsu has previously expressed his intentions in YouTube videos, stating that he wishes for all games, from retro to live-service, to be preserved and playable from anywhere. While Japan's National Diet Library already has a system in place to preserve books and CDs, Akamatsu intends for this to be extended into video games, ensuring they will remain playable for future generations.
He also seems to have previous experience in the world of cultural preservation, having launched a website in 2010 called J-Comi (now renamed to Manga Library Z) in which a number of out-of-print light novels, manga, and TRPG rulebooks are digitally distributed with the consent of the original authors.
While it's clear that Akamatsu's endeavour is ambitious and will undoubtedly hit a number of roadblocks along the way, this certainly sounds like the clearest indication so far that video game preservation is beginning to be taken seriously. We can only hope that he succeeds.
What do you make of Ken Akamatsu's intention with game preservation? Do you think it could be done? Let us know with a comment!