DiGRA 2015 in Germany 14-17 May 2015

Looking forward to returning even if briefly to Europe, I will be presenting the below paper (which I just sent off, hopefully complete) for the proceedings of the 8th international conference of the Digital Games Research Association taking place May 14th-17th at Leuphana University Lüneburg. Title: Role-playing and Rituals For Heritage-Oriented Games Abstract: Roles and rituals are essential for creating, situating and maintaining cultural practices. Computer Role-Playing games (CRPGs) and virtual online worlds that appear to simulate different cultures are well known and highly popular. So it might appear that the roles and rituals of traditional cultures are easily ported to computer games. However, I contend that the meaning behind worlds, rituals and roles are not fully explored in these digital games and virtual worlds and that more work needs to be done to create more moving rituals, role enrichment and worldfulness. I will provide examples from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda, 2006, 2011) to reveal some of the difficulties in creating digitally simulated social and cultural worlds, but I will also suggest some design ideas that could improve them in terms of cultural presence and social presence.


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