Day One concluded with presentations on how various cultural institutions in Australia are embracing games and propelling them into the public consciousness.
Games & Cultural Spaces was a panel that invited speakers from different cultural institutions to basically describe their game spaces or festivals and how they promote gaming as such a cultural force. The State Library of Queensland makes me so jealous of our northern brethren, as they described a wide range of spaces and activities that pushed games as an important medium, on the same educational level as the more established books and paintings more commonly associated with State libraries. It is refreshing to see such historic institutions pushing towards the future, and the Arts Council continued this tradition by discussing an impressive range of areas that they sponsor game development in. Ironically the presentation itself looked rather poor, but the passion in which Ricardo Peach discussed different works and what they are looking for in games lessened the pain.
The last part of the presentation was a panel discussion, and Linda Pitt from the State Library of Queensland brought up one of the most interesting points about the preservation of games for future generations. She discusses how artefacts were saved during the 1893 flood of Brisbane and thought of as important, so in 100 years from now what will we have kept and thought of as important? Will we only keep photos of the games, or the physical copies? It can be argued that games are one of the best representations of our culture right now – what’s popular, what’s acceptable and unacceptable, our thought processes and the progression that technology has taken in only the past 40 years. This discussion would be further expanded in a panel on the Friday, but the best lesson to take from this was: don’t throw out your retro games! I’m sure our very own Weird & Retro boys very much approve.