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.
Studies on the interface of archaeology and video games are part of a growing field. Its grassroots are located in social media and the blogosphere. Beyond social media, the intersection of archaeology and video games can make important contributions to archaeology at large. Archaeological research in and on video games can bring a range of new opportunities, such as the potential to discuss, model and illustrate archaeological theories with crowd-sourced, video game data or as a new channel for public outreach.
At the same time there is a similar upsurge of interest in using heritage and the past in video game development and design. Many creatives, particularly those working at smaller, independent companies, are actively looking to present a different, more conscious approach to interactive pasts. However, with the exception of the arena of serious gaming, the academic and industry networks are still largely unconnected.
This conference is one of the first in the world to focus on this new and exciting field of study. The conference organizers hope to show archaeologists and students how they could engage with the largely untapped medium of interactive entertainment as well as provide creatives with insights into the practice of archaeology and its unique views on the human past. Finally, we seek to provide opportunities for immediate and future collaborations between academics and developers.