Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Ken Akamatsu made headlines in early July after becoming the first manga artist to enter Japanese politics.

The writer and artist who was responsible for creating manga series like Love Hina and Negima! Magister Negi Magi entered the Japanese House of Councillors after a successful campaign with the Liberal Democratic Party, and it seems his first point of business is video game preservation.

As spotted by Niche Gamer, Akamatsu recently announced on Twitter that he had formed a team of experts to achieve legal preservation of old games in a playable state, to prevent classic content from being lost forever:

“Yesterday at 8:00 p.m., I started the Digital Archives Society’s Legal System Subcommittee For Digital Rights Protection. This is a select team of experts to start working on the 'legal preservation of past games in a playable state.

The archiving and utilization of old content that is being lost is an area in which I have a strong passion. I want to make this a success."

This will be welcome news to many, as preservation in games has traditionally been kind of terrible, with companies often removing games from digital storefronts and online services, or losing the original source code. Though it remains to be seen how this special task force will be able to realistically achieve these goals, given the amount of third-party participation necessary.

It's also worth remarking too that this only seems to apply to digital media, not video game ephemera. This is an important distinction as most companies worldwide, but especially in Japan, lack public-facing archive libraries for things like concept art or marketing materials.

If Akamatsu was really serious about making video game preservation part of his mission in politics, this would likely be just as important as keeping games online, giving players the chance to see the conditions around how their favourite games were made and marketed at the time of release.

Elsewhere in the political sphere, Akamatsu has had some pretty divisive views, especially when it comes to the nature of censorship or "political correctness", as well as its impact on the arts. In March 2022, he released what some have called a "propaganda comic" featuring himself and another politician on the topic of freedom of expression, sparking a heated online debate about censorship with its subject matter.

[source twitter.com, via nichegamer.com]