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.