“Today is a good day to die” – If you have ever watched Star Trek The Next Generation or DS9 you will have surely heard this Klingon saying.
While it is debatable if there ever is a good day to die, today is a good day to write about the loss of digital history and a very special game / project.
If you own an iPhone or any other current iOS device, you might have notices that Apple is migrating to 64-bit apps only with iOS 11. Some of you older apps have started to warn you about this a while ago – and I still have a lot of them.
Today I noticed that one small app, that I had totally forgotten about in my games folder, will be among these app that will no longer work in a couple of week, when I will update my iPhone to iOS 11:
Today I die by Daniel Benmergui.
This is a wonderful, award winning indie game that I launched today, to play it one last time on my iPhone.
Today I die probably is more art than a game, it is inspiring and the music is fantastic. It deserves all the praise Kotau gave it in 2009, and I encourage you to try it.
But how? While the app has not been available on the app store for a while, you can still play it as a Flash game on Daniel Benmergui’s website.
But Flash will go away latest in a few years (in fact Adobe has announced the end of support for 2020). There is no way to archive apps that were removed from the app store (with iTunes 12.7 not even on your hard drive anymore) and the difficulties to preserve based games are enormous.
We can still read books and newspapers that are hundreds of years old in libraries, but we might lose all of our digital history very soon. And DRM and proprietary formats make it even more problematic to archive apps, games and ebooks.
While we might not necessarily need to keep all of them, archiving our digital history is a challenge for which there are really no answers right now.
Maybe apart from making a video of it (see below)
The best effort for digital preservation so far – in particular in archiving the web – surely is the Internet Archive. But this will not be enough.
Suggested Videos / Links
- The excellent Extra Credits episode from 2012: “My Name Is Ozymandias...” – How to Archive Games for Future Generations.
- If you want to know more about Hernan Rozenwasser’s wonderful soundtrack for Today you die, then follow this link.
Follow the links to the original sources.