We’ve had a paper accepted in the ACM Journal of Computing and Cultural Heritage special issue on Culture Games! This paper is an analysis of 2 games we made as part of the EU Horizon 2020 UNREST project. We previously wrote (descriptively) about the games, but this paper is a comprehensive study on our installation at the Ruhr Museum, considering reactions from museum visitors and the like. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to discuss what we define as Agonistic Games: serious games which explore the theme of agonism. Here’s the abstract:
In this paper, we propose Agonistic Games (AGs) as a serious games subcategory that can stimulate critical reflection on topics of dark heritage through multiperspectivity and unsettling play. We first discuss the emerging topic of agonism in memory studies, and then how games can be used to support its objectives. We then discuss the development of 2 original AGs: Endless Blitz and Umschlagplatz ‘43. We explore whether these two AGs were perceived as capable of stimulating critical reflection by collecting data from visitors to the exhibition ‘Krieg. Macht. Sinn’ at the Ruhr Museum in Germany where the games were installed, and from participants in an online course describing the games. From analysing data collected, we outline four factors inhibiting the capacity of AGs to stimulate critical reflection (topic, context, design, and assumptions about games) and propose strategies for overcoming these inhibitors. Our findings are valuable to scholars, game researchers, and designers, strengthening the foundations for the design and development of future AGs.investigation to inform the design of effective remote-learning applications.
De Angeli, D., Finnega, D.J., Scott, L., O’Neill, E.
Unsettling Play: Perceptions of Agonistic Games.
ACM Journal of Computing and Cultural Heritage Special Issue on Culture Games.