Presenting ancient history through serious games: a case-study in Assyriology

Hanes, Laurence C. (2020). Presenting ancient history through serious games: a case-study in Assyriology. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates how ancient history can be effectively presented through serious games for educational purposes, by presenting a case study in the field of Assyriology. It is anticipated that the results are applicable to other fields of history and cultural heritage.

A model is presented to describe how heritage and historical content can be manifested in video games, for the design of serious games for heritage and the analysis of commercial games that present historical material.

The theories of reduced fidelity constrained virtual environments are applied to serious games for heritage, to reduce required development resources. A constrained implementation of a serious game for Assyriology is tested against an equivalent 3D environment, and results indicate the constrained environment can achieve comparable levels of presence, enjoyment, quality, and interest in the subject.

Based on an interview with an Assyriology field expert, a methodology for the analysis and design of serious games for heritage is presented, based on activity theory. The methodology is applied to the analysis and redesign of a serious game for Assyriology, and the development of a playable prototype. An online user-test showed the redesigned game was enjoyed by participants and was effective at achieving its learning objectives.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering


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