Symposium: Let's play Dutch game history

Pioneers of the Dutch Game Industry
“Nestors of the Dutch game industry”

On November 18 2016, Utrecht University and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision organized a joint symposium on the challenges of creating an archive for the history of Dutch games and game development as national cultural heritage. Through a series of presentations and panels, the audience was challenged to think about what Dutch game history entails and what this process would look like.

An active group of students, game developers, cultural heritage experts and game collectors were present and shared their views on what we definitely should preserve and were able to voice both suggestions as well as critical concerns on such an effort.


The contributions during the afternoon were:

  • René Glas & Hugo Zijlstra (Utrecht University): Let’s Play the Archive”
  • Panel: Philip Fokker (host), Cees Kramer (Radarsoft), Rudolph Wolterbeek (Davilex), Robert van der Noordaa: “Nestors of the Dutch game industry”
  • Csilla Ariese, Krijn Boom (Leiden University) "Heritage in Games, Games as Heritage" 
  • Jesse de Vos (Sound and Vision) "Archiving games: for whom?" and "Save Game!? Towards a national approach to preserving games as Dutch cultural heritage"
  • Panel: Tjeerd de Boer (host), Rogier Kahlmann, Olaf Andersen (OCW), Tom de Smet (Sound and Vision), René Glas (Utrecht University) “Preserving games as Dutch cultural heritage?”

Let's Play Exhibition

A short general impression of the symposium can be found here with the full video of the symposium to be found here and photo’s here. The symposium was part of a larger Let’s Play Exhibition at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Utrecht University and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision currently cooperate within the Game On! Research project funded by a NWO Museum grant as well as support from Utrecht University’s Game Research Focus Area. This research project has set up the first unified effort between game research, cultural heritage institutions and the Dutch game industry. It seeks answers to questions around definition, preservation, archiving and exhibition of the history of Dutch digital games and game development. Within this approach, the goal is to develop a national approach to game preservation.