The Game Metadata and Citation Project (GAMECIP) is a multi-year IMLS-funded investigation of metadata needs and citation practices surrounding computer games in instititutional collections.

Digital software and specifically digital games present unique and complex stewardship problems that affect scholarly communication after software and data have been acquired and stored by repositories.  These problems have to do with cataloging and description of digital files, the creation of discovery metadata, the provision of access tools and the creation of a scholarly apparatus to deal with issues such as citation. The goal of this project is to propose a framework for solving these problems by creating publishable metadata schema, including ontology and terminology for digital games, and a system and tools for citation of in-game events and game-states.  This framework will thus provide a step toward a complete solution to the closely linked problems of finding, accessing and citing digital games. 

The project is a joint initiative between UC Santa Cruz Library, UC Santa Cruz Computer Science, and Stanford University Library with a project team consisting of metadata librarians, computer scientists, and game researchers, including former members of the Preserving Virtual Worlds (I and II) game preservation projects. Stanford is leading the descriptive metadata development track based on a case set of titles from institutional game collections chosen in consultation with game researchers at UCSC.  Metadata experts at Stanford and UCSC libraries will collaborate on a functional terminology and ontology for digital games to populate this metadata framework. UCSC game researchers will concurrently engage in user-centered domain analysis to learn how scholars make use of digital games in their research, including developing a schema for describing computational game states and in-game events. This domain focused work will reciprocally inform the metadata creation efforts and allow for the development of a citation framework based on actual scholarly practice.  Given that the UCSC team members are also computer scientists, citation work will culminate with a functional citation system for digital games allowing for active links between citations and game content. We plan on integrating our work into modern online citation tools and developing a prototypical citation system allowing users to follow citations directly into instantiated digital content.  



Accurate metadata is an important component of any integrated library system (ILS), online public catalog (OPAC), or archival organization and discovery tool. Our project is, in part, aimed at providing guidance and recommendations for correct and thorough metadata schemas for digital games and related objects. Metadata provides the basis for locating, organizing, and retrieving items from institutional collections, and the current environment for computer game cataloging is underdeveloped. We hope to change that by making recommendations for cataloging practice, including how to adopt or crosswalk our metadata recommendations into common cataloging formats, like MARC-21, MODS, etc. 
We are also researching methods for using descriptive and structural metadata to classify and organize internal and structural properties of computer games. This includes spatial and virtual world references, interaction schemes, gameplay idiosyncrasies, and potentially emulator organization and advanced system requirements. 


Terminology and Vocabulary

Terminology work will be in the form of draft controlled vocabularies for various aspects of computer games. These vocabularies will be paired with metadata fields from our draft schema and cataloging recommendations, and will be disseminated in both text and RDF formats for integration into cataloging and library systems workflows. Our initial work is focused on terminology and ontology for computer game platforms, but we may expand our vocabulary set to include other aspects of games. 



Citation practices for computer games, and many other types of digital works, are generally adhoc and non-standardized. One goal of this project is to provide an overview of current citation practice for computer games and to recommend a draft standard for future scholarly citation. We are also aiming to provide citation not just for full works, but also more granular description of computational game states, save games, and other references to internal and design oriented features of computer games. 
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