Friday, 21 January 2011


Thanks to Dan Jackson for pointing me towards this movie of a rather nice mod to  Mount and Blade Warband called Brytenwalda.  Not, I admit, a game I am familiar with, and perhaps no great loss there, but the graphics are fun, even if the concept of Dark Ages and the misplaced iconography of Stonehenge a little confused.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Engaging with the Virtual World? Approaches to Using Computer Games to Represent Heritage

Just had a session proposal for VIA 2011 accepted.  The session, organised jointly with Mat Smith at Kingston University aims to explore the use of computer games to engage with archaeological landscapes and in particular approaches to narrative and place. Session abstract below.  All comers welcome, offers of papers (with short abstracts emailed to me) welcome.

Engaging with the Virtual World?
Approaches to Using Computer Games to Represent Heritage

Contemporary first person computer games represent the height of technical sophistication in simulation and visualisation using consumer grade computing hardware.  Game technology has been adopted for archaeological visualisation, at least in part in recognition of the technical prowess and possibilities of game engines, and highly popular recent game titles (for example the Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed) have distinctive historical settings and represent historic landscapes with startling fidelity and deliberate accuracy.

This session proposes to extend the consideration of the co-option of game technology for archaeological visualisation a stage further, by challenging the narrative framework within which archaeological reconstruction occurs and suggesting that the adoption of the ludic elements of games, and sophistication and genre breaking views of some recent games, particularly from avant guard games houses, may have much to offer archaeological visualisation.  Papers are solicited considering all aspects of the adoption of game technology for visualisation including approaches to the narrative of place in game worlds and the appropriateness of play in representing the past.