The Chronicle of Higher Education has a short article on a new effort to preserve early virtual worlds:
The two year grant is only for $590,000, which also lends to the idea that this will be an effort to preserve a view from within the virtual world, and not the actual virtual world in any “live” state. It will be interesting to watch how this rolls out. At least there is a centralized effort now underway that goes beyond the static images and video clips posted to project blogs across the Internet.
I can’t imagine how they will do this, since virtual worlds are dynamic and not static like web pages. The Library of Congress has already been preserving web pages for quite a long time now. The effort is known as the Wayback Machine.
You can pop in any URL and get a list of archive snapshots that are for the most part complete (sometimes the graphics are broken). It’s a blast to go and visit sites that have long since passed off the live Internet.