The Atlantic covers an initiative to develop preservation standards for old video games, a project now being undertaken at several universities including the University of Maryland, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas.

“Who knows?”, opines Atlantic columnist Clay Risen. “Two hundred years from now, Super Mario Bros. could be treated with as much respect as The Brothers Karamazov.” (I’m betting on the Brothers. — ed.)

Though preserving video games is a relatively recent undertaking, anxiety about the permanence of digital art has plagued hypertext for most of its life. Indeed, it was this very anxiety that led the Electronic Literature Organization to create its Preservation, Archiving and Dissemination Initiative (PAD) which planned to deliver an open-source clone of HyperCard.