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The game’s afoot! hugs presentation


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Talk on games & history, and history through games, for the Carleton University Undergrad Historical Society

Talk on games & history, and history through games, for the Carleton University Undergrad Historical Society

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  • School has always been a game, even when people have forgotten that ludus means both) – Trevor Rogers
  • Scott Hutson:-problem of defining childhood – based on our own assumption of what childhood is like. We preload the question. Then, we look for things that match that assumption. So: sub-adult burials, artistic representations of people who are small or baby like in terms of body proportions, poor quality artefacts thought to be made by novices, artefacts occasionally interpreted as toys, such as figurines, miniature versions of tools.
  • – appears to be similar to Mancala, which may be of African origin.
  • Dora image
  • an interactive, goal-oriented activity, with active agents to play against, in which players (including active agents) can interfere with each other.
  • Games & play tie to storytelling – Carys-note the performative aspect in this image
  • is whether it’s the game, or the player, that matters most – essence of ludology/narratology debate. Procedural Rhetoric – focuses on the interface between the games rules and the player: game as performance of an argument embodied in the code.Roger Travis: argues that performing the game is v. similar to bardic performance of epic.In which case, William Urrichio’s ideas mean that games could be powerful media for public history
  • Mathblaster from
  • Augmented reality games too
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Game’s Afoot!
      Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, & Gamification
      Shawn M Graham, RPA
      Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
    • 2. Deep History of Play
      950-900 BC – Kerameikos Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons
      Archaic (early Iron Age), Louvre. Wikimedia Commons
      Middle Bronze Age, Louvre, Wikimedia Commons
    • 3. Toys aren’t just for kids
    • 4. Ancient Games
      Wikimedia Commons, “Lewis Chess Man”, Finlay McWalter
      4 x 12, 4 x 14 – found in Petra
    • 5. Basilica Julia, Roman Forum
    • 6. ...and somewhat more elaborate
      Colosseum, Wikimedia Commons. Diliff
      Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Ball court. BobakHa’Eri.
    • 7. Clockwise from topleft: Wikimedia Commons, Bull-leaping fresco from Knossos, Herakleion Museum
      Wikimedia Commons, Minoan Bull-leaper, British Museum, Mike Peel
      Wikimedia Commons, The Bull Leaper, Knossos, Chris 73
      Top: Wikimedia Commons Xiuhtecuhtli, Codex Borgia, Madman2001
      Bottom: Wikimedia Commons: Drawing from figures on a Maya vase in the Dallas Museum of Art, Madman2001
    • 8. What’s a game?
      Chris Crawford:
      an interactive, goal-oriented activity, with active agents to play against, in which players (including active agents) can interfere with each other.
      Let’s have some sort of formal definition
    • 9. and these are?
      Procedures are the rules encoded in the game;
      These are devices for expressing ideas, forming arguments:
      In literature, would be equivalent to metaphors, similes, other devices
      Rhetoric: the art of persuasion
      Thus: the art of persuasion through encoding arguments in the rules of the game
      Procedural Rhetorics
    • 10. The Storyteller, Andy Thomas
    • 11. Which Brings Us To Video Games
    • 12. Good Games vs. Bad Games
    • 13. What would a perfect history game look like?
      Game based learning
    • 14. I Love Bees
      -Viral mystery
      -Online, interactive story
      -Real-world missions
      -Collaborative, community-driven
      In other words: a real-life, personal,
      social experience of the Halo world.
      (Jane McGonical, 2005)
    • 15. 10,000+ fans mobilized in public
      600,000+ fans united online
      2.3 million people watching
      over 1 million tracked blog and forum posts and comments
      $125 million dollars opening day sales of Halo 2 (Jane McGonigal 2005)
    • 16. Some games I’ve made...
      Some have worked well
      Some have not
      For some, it’s too early to tell yet.
    • 17. When on Google Earth?
    • 18. HIST2809
    • 19. Virtual Excavation
    • 20. The Year of the Four Emperors
    • 21. Source of failure, success:
      The black box can be opened.
      Problem is: context of that action ...
      Beware the creepy treehouse.
    • 22. So... Game’s afoot, eh?
      Simplicity in the rules leads to complexity of play
      Meaningful play is more successful than extrinsic rewards
      For historians, building games may be more successful than playing games
      The Digital Humanities: Building as a Way of Knowing.
    • 23. By the way...