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What is DiGA e.V.

Preamble of our Article of Association

"The Activities of Diga e.V. is based on the leading thought that due to entertainment software a new medium is established.

Computer games were and still are the engine for technical popularisation, which today generates the backbone of our social communication.
They were first, who made the virtual world for everyone accessible and moreover to inspirited this world with exciting content."

DiGA e.V. was founded to establish a one-of-a-kind digital game archive on the Internet, which encourages the free download of commercial computer and video games suitable for any platform.

Our goal has been
- to preserve one of the most important and exciting segments of our digital heritage
- to make this digital heritage available and easily accessible for future generations

Looking back today, we are able to assess the role and the importance of the early computer games: Long dismissed as mere toys, these games did pave the way for the general acceptance of ‘Cyberspace’ and ‘Internet’ as integral realms of contemporary information society.

However, the preservation of this five decade old tradition is increasingly difficult. There are no libraries responsible for storing entertainment software, whereas the archives in the Internet (so-called abandonwaresites) are illegal and thereby constantly under the threat of immediate closure. To our opinion the preservation of entertainment software must not be left to chance any longer.

The idea is simple: All games, made accessible by DiGA, have been released by their respective license holders for the purposes of private and scientific use. We are not compiling free- or shareware games, but only those commercial programs, that were once sold in shops as complete programs. The games stored and provided by us are made available for private utilization without any charges. The cooperation of the licence holders are not only crucial but also encouraging: the industry seems to begin to accept its share of responsibility in the concerted effort to preserve our digital culture.
DiGA has therefore been also conceived as a platform to increase this awareness among the legal owners.

DiGA is organized along the lines of 'keeping things simple'. Our initiative merely orchestrates the organic, grass-root efforts, that have surfaced over the last years:

We are making use of the Internet with its global accessability.

To guarantee a form of preservation that is independent of the existence of the original hardware, we rely upon the availability of the multitude of emulators deployed in the www.

The rapidly increasing scientific inquiry into these games (not at all limited to the field of pedagogics / didactics) has has lead to a widespread awareness about the games’ specific cultural value.

The developmental shift of the entertainment software from a freak medium to one for the masses has not only increased its economic importance, but furthermore created a comprehensive social demand for its preservation.

With this demand on hand, the DiGA is merely providing the last missing link. Thus the open question of maintenance? can be settled in a form that will be not only acceptable but also beneficial to all parties involved. Since DiGA insists on a strict observation of the principle of voluntarism, the emphasis of our non-commercial character is adamant.

The legal form of DiGA is that of a non-profit organization. Part of the necessary financial support will be provided by public funding, another source will consist of private donations.

Our initiative was founded by Andreas Lange, director of the Computer Game Museum in Berlin, which opened the first permanent exhibition exclusively dealing with entertainment software in 1997.
© 2018 DiGA e.V.