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Preserving Worlds is a documentary series about aging virtual worlds.

Virtual worlds are delicate things, and they can vanish with hardly a trace. You can archive the offline software, but a dead world can only tell you so much. It’s just as important to document how people spent their time within it.

Preserving Worlds is a travelogue that takes you through some of the most interesting and impactful online games and communities of the past forty years to see what it’s like to visit them today. Along the way, you’ll meet people who are working against obsolescence to keep the communities they care about alive and accessible.

The series takes an ethnographic approach to capture historically important information about the player communities of online video games, as well as some offline games indelibly stamped by the creative contributions of their players.

This website's purpose is to provide you with supporting information to help you learn more about the games we featured, see some of the efforts that have been made to preserve them, find out about the music and player-created areas/games that appear in each episode, and learn how you can access these games for yourself. Click a game's name above to learn more about it!

Preserving Worlds was created by Derek Murphy and Mitchell Zemil, the filmmakers behind the feature-length surrealist documentary Sarasota Half in Dream.

The Preserving Worlds theme song is "Wilton, Clarkson, James" by Graham Kartna.

The character portraits and imaginary UI windows for this series were created by Bachelor Soft.

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