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What Can Heritage Professionals Learn from Open World Games?

What Can Heritage Professionals Learn from Open World Games?
What Can Heritage Professionals Learn from Open World Games?
What can real-world cultural heritage sites learn from the video games industry about presenting a coherent story, while giving visitors freedom to explore and allowing them to become participants in the story-making? How do cultural heritage professionals have to change their storytelling practices to properly take advantage of new digital technologies? A review of the literature, including analysing the narrative of three “open world” style video games shows that cultural heritage sites manage to provide analogues of many ludic emotional triggers except one – story.
The bulk of the work is auto-ethnographical: how might cultural heritage professionals, like me, translate linear interpretations such as histories, guidebooks, exhibition texts and other sources, into a network of narrative atoms (natoms) that an algorithm, rather than a human, might deliver to visitors? What should they consider along the way? The first prototype was a responsive heritage narrative, this was an on-screen text “adventure” rather than a real-world environment. Taking learning from that experiment to Chawton House Library, an on-line data-base of natoms was built, which included environmental effects such as lighting, sound and music. Visitors participated in an “Untour” simulating a responsive environment, triggered by their movement around the spaces of the house. The output of this research is an analysis of the recordings and observations made during the Untours, which proves that it is possible to author coherent narratives by tagging individual natoms. However consideration should be given to the transitions between natoms, and heritage professionals should be challenged to take more risks with fiction.
University of Southampton
Tyler-Jones, Matthew
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Tyler-Jones, Matthew
abf48982-1f63-4c17-a2fd-8abe11d081bc
Brooks, Laura
4b254837-1e36-4869-9695-17000b6c5ff9
Carroll, Elizabeth
6589ba1a-368c-4f46-a296-8cdc47039123

Tyler-Jones, Matthew (2021) What Can Heritage Professionals Learn from Open World Games? University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 215pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

What can real-world cultural heritage sites learn from the video games industry about presenting a coherent story, while giving visitors freedom to explore and allowing them to become participants in the story-making? How do cultural heritage professionals have to change their storytelling practices to properly take advantage of new digital technologies? A review of the literature, including analysing the narrative of three “open world” style video games shows that cultural heritage sites manage to provide analogues of many ludic emotional triggers except one – story.
The bulk of the work is auto-ethnographical: how might cultural heritage professionals, like me, translate linear interpretations such as histories, guidebooks, exhibition texts and other sources, into a network of narrative atoms (natoms) that an algorithm, rather than a human, might deliver to visitors? What should they consider along the way? The first prototype was a responsive heritage narrative, this was an on-screen text “adventure” rather than a real-world environment. Taking learning from that experiment to Chawton House Library, an on-line data-base of natoms was built, which included environmental effects such as lighting, sound and music. Visitors participated in an “Untour” simulating a responsive environment, triggered by their movement around the spaces of the house. The output of this research is an analysis of the recordings and observations made during the Untours, which proves that it is possible to author coherent narratives by tagging individual natoms. However consideration should be given to the transitions between natoms, and heritage professionals should be challenged to take more risks with fiction.

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Published date: 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 452429
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/452429
PURE UUID: 028e26c5-5311-4d58-866e-0d9c9a66f6ca

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Date deposited: 09 Dec 2021 18:23
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 16:26

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Contributors

Author: Matthew Tyler-Jones
Thesis advisor: Laura Brooks
Thesis advisor: Elizabeth Carroll

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