The Interactive Past

Archaeology, Heritage, and Video Games

Edited by Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos | 2017

The Interactive Past

Archaeology, Heritage, and Video Games

Edited by Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos | 2017


Paperback ISBN: 9789088904363 | Hardback ISBN: 9789088904370 | Imprint: Sidestone Press | Format: 182x257mm | 236 pp. | Language: English | >30 illus. (fc) | Keywords: video games, archaeology, heritage, history | download cover

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We will plant a tree for each order containing a paperback or hardback book via OneTreePlanted.org.

Video games, even though they are one of the present’s quintessential media and cultural forms, also have a surprising and many-sided relation with the past. From seminal series like Sid Meier’s Civilization or Assassin’s Creed to innovative indies like Never Alone and Herald, games have integrated heritages and histories as key components of their design, narrative, and play. This has allowed hundreds of millions of people to experience humanity’s diverse heritage through the thrill of interactive and playful discovery, exploration, and (re-)creation. Just as video games have embraced the past, games themselves are also emerging as an exciting new field of inquiry in disciplines that study the past. Games and other interactive media are not only becoming more and more important as tools for knowledge dissemination and heritage communication, but they also provide a creative space for theoretical and methodological innovations.

The Interactive Past brings together a diverse group of thinkers — including archaeologists, heritage scholars, game creators, conservators and more — who explore the interface of video games and the past in a series of unique and engaging writings. They address such topics as how thinking about and creating games can inform on archaeological method and theory, how to leverage games for the communication of powerful and positive narratives, how games can be studied archaeologically and the challenges they present in terms of conservation, and why the deaths of virtual Romans and the treatment of video game chickens matters. The book also includes a crowd-sourced chapter in the form of a question-chain-game, written by the Kickstarter backers whose donations made this book possible. Together, these exciting and enlightening examples provide a convincing case for how interactive play can power the experience of the past and vice versa.

Tutorial: An introduction to archaeology, heritage, and video games
Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos

Part I: Ethical Approaches to Heritage and Video Games

1. Storytelling for the Next Generation: How a nonprofit in Alaska harnessed the power of video games to share and celebrate cultures
Cook Inlet Tribal Council

2. Tradigital Knowledge: Indigenous video games, copyright, and the protection of traditional knowledge
Gabrielle Hughes

3. Chickens in Video Games: Archaeology and ethics inform upon complex relationships
B. Tyr Fothergill & Catherine Flick

4. Herald: How Wispfire used history to create fiction
Roy van der Schilden & Bart Heijltjes

Part II: Analyzing and Designing Games from an Archaeological Perspective

5. Designing and Developing a Playful Past in Video-Games
Tara Jane Copplestone

6. Video Games as Archaeological Sites: Treating digital entertainment as built environments
Andrew Reinhard

7. Single White Looter: Have whip, will travel
Erik Malcolm Champion

8. On Games that Play Themselves: Agent based models, archaeogaming, and the useful deaths of digital Romans
Shawn Graham

Part III: Playful Heritage Outreach

9. Playing the Archive: Let’s Play videos, game preservation, and the exhibition of play
René Glas, Jesse de Vos, Jasper van Vught & Hugo Zijlstra

10. Explaining Archaeological Research with Video Games: The case of Evolving Planet
Xavier Rubio-Campillo, Jorge Caro Saiz, Guillem H. Pongiluppi, Guillem Laborda Cabo & David Ramos Garcia

11. Crafting the Past: Unlocking new audiences
Julianne McGraw, Stephen Reid & Jeff Sanders

12. The Potential for Modding Communities in Cultural Heritage
Jakub Majewski

13. Looking for Group: A collective chapter writing game
The Interactive Past Community

Leveling Up: The future of interactive pasts
Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos

Afterword
Colleen Morgan

Dr. Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke

Csilla E. Ariese is a museologist with an interest in decolonial practices, community engagement, maritime archaeology, and video games. Her PhD dissertation (2018, Leiden University) explored Caribbean museums and the practices and processes through which they engage with a diversity of communities. Her recent postdoctoral research at the University of Amsterdam focused on the Amsterdam Museum and how it deals with the colonial pasts of its collections and the city. She is a co-founder of the VALUE Foundation, among others organizing the RoMeincraft project and curating the Culture Arcade exhibition. Her publications span the topics of decolonizing museums, Caribbean museums, interactive pasts, and VOC shipwrecks in Australia.

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Dr. Krijn H.J. Boom

Krijn Boom started his career with a PhD on the sociocultural impact of public activities in archaeology. Subsequently, he was a post-doctoral researcher in heritage management at the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University and Project Manager Blended Learning at the University of Amsterdam. Krijn also co-founded the VALUE project – for research and outreach on the past, heritage, and video games. Currently, Krijn is an education consultant and publisher for Acco, a Flemish academic publishing company. Here, he combines his love for digital innovations in the didactic process with established media, in an ongoing quest to find the optimal ways to transfer knowledge and engage audiences.

read more

Dr. Angus A.A. Mol

Angus Mol is an assistant professor at the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities. Here he teaches and does research, not only on how digital tools can be used in the study of cultures and societies, but also how digital media shape our engagement with the present and past. With a background in archaeology and as a co-founder of VALUE, his research and outreach specifically address the intersections of the past and video games. His previous publications have appeared at Sidestone Press and a number of international journals and handbooks. These include the first Interactive Past volume as well as work in theoretical and Caribbean archaeology and network studies. He also writes blogs and produces other media as Dr. Random on VALUE’s Interactive Pasts website.

read more

Aris Politopoulos MA

Aris Politopoulos is a lecturer for the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, and a postdoctoral researcher at the Leiden University Center for Arts in Society working on the Past-at-Play Lab project. His research focuses on ancient Near Eastern empires, the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, the archaeology of Play, and the archaeological study of video games. He is also a co-founding member of the VALUE Foundation and has published extensively on the topic of video games and archaeology.

read more

Abstract:

Video games, even though they are one of the present’s quintessential media and cultural forms, also have a surprising and many-sided relation with the past. From seminal series like Sid Meier’s Civilization or Assassin’s Creed to innovative indies like Never Alone and Herald, games have integrated heritages and histories as key components of their design, narrative, and play. This has allowed hundreds of millions of people to experience humanity’s diverse heritage through the thrill of interactive and playful discovery, exploration, and (re-)creation. Just as video games have embraced the past, games themselves are also emerging as an exciting new field of inquiry in disciplines that study the past. Games and other interactive media are not only becoming more and more important as tools for knowledge dissemination and heritage communication, but they also provide a creative space for theoretical and methodological innovations.

The Interactive Past brings together a diverse group of thinkers — including archaeologists, heritage scholars, game creators, conservators and more — who explore the interface of video games and the past in a series of unique and engaging writings. They address such topics as how thinking about and creating games can inform on archaeological method and theory, how to leverage games for the communication of powerful and positive narratives, how games can be studied archaeologically and the challenges they present in terms of conservation, and why the deaths of virtual Romans and the treatment of video game chickens matters. The book also includes a crowd-sourced chapter in the form of a question-chain-game, written by the Kickstarter backers whose donations made this book possible. Together, these exciting and enlightening examples provide a convincing case for how interactive play can power the experience of the past and vice versa.

Contents

Tutorial: An introduction to archaeology, heritage, and video games
Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos

Part I: Ethical Approaches to Heritage and Video Games

1. Storytelling for the Next Generation: How a nonprofit in Alaska harnessed the power of video games to share and celebrate cultures
Cook Inlet Tribal Council

2. Tradigital Knowledge: Indigenous video games, copyright, and the protection of traditional knowledge
Gabrielle Hughes

3. Chickens in Video Games: Archaeology and ethics inform upon complex relationships
B. Tyr Fothergill & Catherine Flick

4. Herald: How Wispfire used history to create fiction
Roy van der Schilden & Bart Heijltjes

Part II: Analyzing and Designing Games from an Archaeological Perspective

5. Designing and Developing a Playful Past in Video-Games
Tara Jane Copplestone

6. Video Games as Archaeological Sites: Treating digital entertainment as built environments
Andrew Reinhard

7. Single White Looter: Have whip, will travel
Erik Malcolm Champion

8. On Games that Play Themselves: Agent based models, archaeogaming, and the useful deaths of digital Romans
Shawn Graham

Part III: Playful Heritage Outreach

9. Playing the Archive: Let’s Play videos, game preservation, and the exhibition of play
René Glas, Jesse de Vos, Jasper van Vught & Hugo Zijlstra

10. Explaining Archaeological Research with Video Games: The case of Evolving Planet
Xavier Rubio-Campillo, Jorge Caro Saiz, Guillem H. Pongiluppi, Guillem Laborda Cabo & David Ramos Garcia

11. Crafting the Past: Unlocking new audiences
Julianne McGraw, Stephen Reid & Jeff Sanders

12. The Potential for Modding Communities in Cultural Heritage
Jakub Majewski

13. Looking for Group: A collective chapter writing game
The Interactive Past Community

Leveling Up: The future of interactive pasts
Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos

Afterword
Colleen Morgan

Dr. Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke

Csilla E. Ariese is a museologist with an interest in decolonial practices, community engagement, maritime archaeology, and video games. Her PhD dissertation (2018, Leiden University) explored Caribbean museums and the practices and processes through which they engage with a diversity of communities. Her recent postdoctoral research at the University of Amsterdam focused on the Amsterdam Museum and how it deals with the colonial pasts of its collections and the city. She is a co-founder of the VALUE Foundation, among others organizing the RoMeincraft project and curating the Culture Arcade exhibition. Her publications span the topics of decolonizing museums, Caribbean museums, interactive pasts, and VOC shipwrecks in Australia.

read more

Dr. Krijn H.J. Boom

Krijn Boom started his career with a PhD on the sociocultural impact of public activities in archaeology. Subsequently, he was a post-doctoral researcher in heritage management at the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University and Project Manager Blended Learning at the University of Amsterdam. Krijn also co-founded the VALUE project – for research and outreach on the past, heritage, and video games. Currently, Krijn is an education consultant and publisher for Acco, a Flemish academic publishing company. Here, he combines his love for digital innovations in the didactic process with established media, in an ongoing quest to find the optimal ways to transfer knowledge and engage audiences.

read more

Dr. Angus A.A. Mol

Angus Mol is an assistant professor at the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities. Here he teaches and does research, not only on how digital tools can be used in the study of cultures and societies, but also how digital media shape our engagement with the present and past. With a background in archaeology and as a co-founder of VALUE, his research and outreach specifically address the intersections of the past and video games. His previous publications have appeared at Sidestone Press and a number of international journals and handbooks. These include the first Interactive Past volume as well as work in theoretical and Caribbean archaeology and network studies. He also writes blogs and produces other media as Dr. Random on VALUE’s Interactive Pasts website.

read more

Aris Politopoulos MA

Aris Politopoulos is a lecturer for the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, and a postdoctoral researcher at the Leiden University Center for Arts in Society working on the Past-at-Play Lab project. His research focuses on ancient Near Eastern empires, the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, the archaeology of Play, and the archaeological study of video games. He is also a co-founding member of the VALUE Foundation and has published extensively on the topic of video games and archaeology.

read more










We will plant a tree for each order containing a paperback or hardback book via OneTreePlanted.org.

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