[There are quite a few images in this one so you might want to load them up!]
Last episode I finished up by mentioning Gabrielle Zevin’s Tommorrow and Tommorrow and Tomorrow. R is now reading it and if I didn’t convince you last episode, go get a copy. I’ve been thinking about it a lot as I’ve been on my adventure to ICOM in Prague and beyond. The main story follows the relationship between two programmer/artists drawn to making games. It’s a lot more than that but as I wrote in the last episode, it captures the tensions of creative collaborations in your 20s and 30s really well. Where those tensions play out, and the specifics of the communities involved, is very important.
When I was talking about my travel itinerary to people, they would always ask ‘why are you going to Bratislava?!’. First I'd say that I wanted begin to understand different game-making cultures and cultural contexts for creative production. Then I would tell them the story of a little collection of games that had been preserved, and now even translated/localized and playable online.
Courtesy of newsletter reader Michal Čudrnák, I got a private view inside the Slovak Design Museum stores. And inside the cupboards that house the rare hardware, software, and self-published magazines from the 1980s Slovak computer game scene. Maroš Brojo who is now the head of the Slovak Game Developers Association also happens to be the curator and conservator behind these items and listening to him talk about the challenges faced by game makers as the Iron Curtain fell was really inspiring. All the well funded institutions I have worked for have also struggled with cataloguing, preserving, and researching their technology collections - this is that multiplied many fold.