Welcome To… The Attract Mode Archives

by Matthew Edward Hawkins

Time for a big announcement! Two actually…

For starters, I’m going back to school! To receive a Masters in Library and Information Science, to be trained & certified as a digital archivist. Credit goes to my wife Ashley, who pointed out that much of what I do, which is scouring/collecting/cataloging examples of game culture online, are skills that’ll be in heavy demand in the coming years! As entities of all shapes and sizes realize that digital archiving is something that’s desperately needed.

When it comes to the preservation of video games as a whole, there’s been a considerable amount of awareness and discussion already, but only among enthusiasts. Never-mind publishers and other representatives of the industry who are mostly concerned with business, who all fail to realize the harm a purely digital distribution model causes to the legacy of the medium… cuz there’s even confusion and misunderstanding among those involved in the creative end of things as well.

This was illustrated loud and clearly when my wife, a librarian, got into a Facebook argument with AN EXTREMELY FAMOUS VIDEO GAME DESIGNER WHO HAS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY HIS ENTIRE LIFE YET HAD NO FUCKING CLUE ABOUT THE ROLES THAT LIBRARIES & OTHER NON-PROFIT ORGS PLAY WHEN IT COMES TO GAME PRESERVATION. Plus it offers a much needed career change; not sure if anyone has noticed, but I haven’t had any bylines to share that aren’t from my own corners of the internet for years now!

There’s a lot more to discuss about this, but later. Till then, here comes the second announcement…

It’s no big secret that most of my energies these days have been focused on Attract Mode (see above, actually).  It’s also no secret that the platform that Attract Mode’s blog is built upon, that being Tumblr, has become a total shit show; pretty much everyone knows about the idiotic changes to policies and even worse handling of their enforcement (along with how it all blew up in Tumblr HQ’s face), what’s not quite public knowledge is how the underlining code for pretty much everything has been slowly whither on the vine.

It’s why the desktop version has exhibited graphical issues for some time now (plus search is completely broken), yet the situation has worsened significantly in the past few days. Adam and I have discussed another reboot, aka version 4.0, but we’re just so damn busy these days that I have no idea when we can really get down to business. So the pivot towards Twitter, aka version 2.8 FINAL CE EX UPPER CORE PLUS ALPHA, originally a stop gap measure, may end up being more of a permanent solution that originally planned.

Hence why the priority atm is to preserve the contents of the blog, before conditions worsen and everything possibly vanishes (I just flipped the switch so the blog uses Tumblr’s boring but ultimately functional default design). Some time ago a presence on Medium was established, to serve as an archive of sorts, and despite me not being a fan of that platform either, I’m going to double down efforts on that end. BUT ALSO, I’m going to start republishing content over here as well!

Because at the end of the day, you can never have too many back-ups. The first installment of the Attract Mode Archive goes live tomorrow.

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