People play video games, archaeologists included. People are spending more and more time in the virtual worlds presented by video games, raising the question of how our digital past is to be studied or curated. And video games are often constructed within historical frames, whether characters are fighting dysentery on the Oregon Trail or fighting mutants in a post-apocalyptic Boston. Video games offer a window into historical process and narrative-building that more passive media cannot.
There is a growing contingent of archaeologists and historians who are using and exploring video games as both media for portraying the past (or pasts), as well as a valuable source of information on the digital lives of humans in the more recent past. Greater historical detail in games also suggests a role for archaeologists in the development of games.
This ARCHON-GSA conference will explore the intersections of archaeology and video games. Its aim is to bring scholars and students from archaeology, history, heritage and museum studies together with game developers and designers. The program will allow for both in-depth treatment of the topic in the form of presentations, open discussion, as well as skill transference and the establishment of new ties between academia and the creative industry.
If you’re already going to be on the road for the CAA conference in Oslo, this conference conveniently begins right afterwards in Leiden. Abstracts are due on the 31st, and more information can be found here.