Single Character 2 Person Climbing Game

A French student Agathe Limouzy (Toulouse) was an intern here at Curtin, I mentored her for a game design project. It was supposed to be cyber-archaeology but morphed slightly into a two person controlling single character climbing game, using an HTC Vive and a leap Controller (tracking hands) attached via a bandana. The person with the Leap can climb or send hand directions to the person in the head mounted display, who controls the legs.

Short video at:

Outline structure for Screen Tourism talk

Some notes on Screen Tourism VR and Cultural Heritage for 11 June event at the HIVE, Curtin University.

  1. We now carry a technical ecosystem of biofeedback GPS and camera tracking devices (phones and fit-bits and smartwatches) but so seldom use them creatively, synergistically and contextually (in terms of our locale).
  2. Archaeologists and others are so interested in games but there are so few examples of good group narrative. (Cut to photos of our game session at CAA2017, Georgia USA).
  3. Some recently supervised PhD projects (Rusaila Bazlamit, Palestine in Multi-wall Unity) or 360 panoramas of museum classic car collections (Beata Dawson) made me realize that contested spaces with digital heritage are often accidental but isn’t the audience dialogue created one of the most important aims in public heritage?
  4. Also, why is Mixed Reality so rare in Virtual Heritage, because AR and VR have so much market presence? Why are there so few mixed reality projects? Show Mafi’s figures! Explain pros and cons of VR MR and AR..
  5. Explain how collaborative learning and geolocation can help tell more contextual group-assisted stories..
  6. Brief overview of cultural tourism and personal narrative making tools (Twine; Cradle (Unity and Twine); Inkle)…
  7. How can film, film trailers, and location and personal adventures be mashed, mixed and augmented?

Google slides of the above presentation are here



The Screen Tourism VR and Cultural Heritage event will take place Monday at the HIVE, Curtin University.

It is fully booked but the programme is now:

DRAFT SCHEDULE (HIVE opens at 12:30pm)

PROGRAM SESSION 1 (Chair: Dr Tod Jones (Curtin University))

1.00–1.05pm: Welcome by Dr Tod Jones

1.05–1.40pm: Mr Ian Brodie (

1.40–2.00pm: Dr Christina Lee (Curtin University)

2.00–2.20pm: Professor Erik Champion (Curtin University)

2.20 – 2.45pm: Q&A

2.45–3.15pm: Coffee/tea break at Aroma Café

SESSION 2 (Chair: Erik Champion)

3.15–3.20pm: Introductions

3.20–3.40pm: Mr Mike Dunn (Phimedia)

3.40–3.50pm: Mr Mat Lewis (South West Development Commission)

3.50–4.00pm: Mr Nathan Gibbs (Screen West)

4.00–4.30pm: Q&A then sundowner (see below).


HIVE (VR Centre), John Curtin Gallery, Kent Street, Curtin Bentley campus WA 6102

Phone: (08) 9266 9024 (HIVE).
Map link (in John Curtin Gallery opposite Aroma Café)


You can pay in a visitor’s carpark (there are parks near John Curtin Gallery/the HIVE) or you can download a phone app and pay in the yellow signed curtin parks at a much cheaper rate. Closest zone is D3 off Kent St then Beazley Avenue, park as close as you can to John Curtin Library.


If you cannot make the event please cancel your ticket at Eventbrite as we have people on the waiting list


We hope to have tea or coffee provided for attendees at the nearby outside Aroma cafe during the coffee break, please bring your Eventbrite ticket number.


If you would like to speak to Ian or Mike or the other speakers after the event from 4:30PM or so we hope to offer a small sundowner at the meeting space of Innovation Central, Level 2, Engineering Pavilion Building 216. More details at the event but just a note you can also find it at


Imagined Spaces in Real Places

If you are in Perth 11 June please sign up on EventBrite to this free event:

Imagined Spaces in Real Places (Screen Tourism, VR & Cultural Heritage)


There is a burgeoning global tourist trade for places – both real and imaginary – inspired by cultural texts and their creators. While Stratford-upon-Avon has long been a mecca for Shakespeare enthusiasts, (popular) cultural tourism has now extended the bucket list of travel destinations to include the likes of Westeros (aka Dubrovnik, Croatia; Game of Thrones) and Middle-earth (aka New Zealand; The Lord of the Rings). This Symposium brings together scholars and presenters from industry to discuss how screen-based tourism (film, television) can be a generative force in local economies, in region/nation branding, and as a way of promoting cultural heritage. The potential and practical application of technology – specifically virtual reality, locative apps and interactive media – in facilitating an immersive touristic experience, visualising place and creating narrative will also be explored.


Monday 11 June 20181-4:30PM (Presentations start at 1pm, finish approx. 4:30pm. HIVE opens at 12:30pm).
Venue: Curtin University HIVE (VR Centre), John Curtin Gallery, Kent Street, Curitn Bentley campus WA 6102
Event organisers: Christina Lee, Erik Champion

Keynote speaker: Ian Brodie (

Other presenters include: Dr Christina Lee, Professor Erik Champion, Mat Lewis (Southwest Development Commission), Professor Sue Beeton (teleconference).


Phone: (08) 9266 9024 (HIVE).
Map link (in John Curtin Gallery opposite Aroma Café)

Landscape Data, Art/Artefacts & Models as Linked Open Data Perth, Australia

For those interested in the above, please keep Friday 27 July 2018, open for an all-day free event in Perth.

We will be inviting speakers to talk on Australia-specific cultural issues and digital (geo) projects in relation to the above event.

More details to follow shortly and announced via

So there is an Australian working group for Pelagios – Linked Open Data. We will run an event on 27 July at Curtin. News to follow.

Australia LAMLOD Group: led by Erik Champion (UNESCO Chair of Cultural Visualisation and Heritage, Curtin University) and Susan Fayad (City of Ballarat), this WG seeks to address the problem of linking materials between academic research and cultural heritage in an Australian context. This is not so much about extending Pelagios linked data practice to an entirely new continent, though that is important; the problem this WG seeks to address is the multi-layered and contentious representation of cultural heritage, namely: the vast scale of Australian landscapes and historic journeys; the local and highly specific Aboriginal ways of describing, navigating and experiencing the landscapes with hundreds of different languages; and the specific problem of integrating UNESCO designated built and natural heritage with its surrounding ecosystems. The LAMLOD WG will create landscape data and visualisation displays, investigate related cultural artefact knowledge (Indigenous and colonial), and build towards the integration of linked open data and 3D models.


Notes: paucity of architectural theory in virtual place design

Learning from essentialism in architecture:

Essentialist Polemics in Architectural History, 2006:

…major architectural theories are fundamentally representational, and can be summarized as theories of semiotics, empathic projection, material symbolism (as tectonic glorification, or territorial protectionism), or as reflections of a community (and the related notion of archaeological structuration). This paper will argue that even if there are particular features of architectural design not shared by other related disciplines, that the above major theories, (as well as non-representational formalist theory), are all open to an accusation of impoverished essentialism…I suggest the followingargument: that with one notable exception, major architectural theories are fundamentally re-presentational. These theories can be summarizedas theories of semiotics, empathic projection, ma-terial symbolism (as tectonic glorification, or territo-rial protectionism), or as reflections of a community(and the related notion of archaeological structu-ration).The above classification of these theories is to high-light problems common to architectural aesthetics

One does not have to be essentialist about essentialist theories in architecture, one can mix match and modulate

These theories avoid discussing architecture intertwined with a sense of place, they concentrate on representation and form (see Wittgenstein, Family Resemblance argument).

19thC architectural theory started addressing changes in style and the role of empathy but was overtaken by industrialization, painting and sculpture and light-weight furniture, industrial, portable, stackable.

(Mention in passing the advantages and disadvantages of Horta, and Gaudi).

When you consider all the aspects of building buildings and how so many other disciplines are involved, it is still hard to extract the relationship and inter-relationship of architecture as building meaningful places and inter-places.

Architecture also pioneered the use of transition spaces, interstitial places, and objects that created transitional viewing and acting spaces/translucent and perforated visual barriers and so on (mention here Villa Mairea, Asplund’s diaphanous work inspired by Strindberg’s set design in A Ghost Play.., the transitional wall in Utzon’s housing estates)

Virtual places typically lack transitional spaces, breathing areas, the diaphanous, the moulded, in brief, the interplaces. They concentrate on form, colour, light.

The Phenomenology of Virtual Places (observations)

Just submitted a draft of the above edited book of 14 proposed chapters to Routledge, to their Research in Phenomenology series.

The Phenomenology of Virtual Places is an edited book on the history, implications and usefulness of phenomenology for real places and virtual places, with chapters by philosophers, cultural geographers, architects and archaeologists.

I won’t summarize the chapters right now as the series editors have the right to ask for major subtractions, additions and revisions but I am very happy about the range of disciplines, perspectives and topics.

I do have some observations

  1. One thing very much under-represented is the unconventional, the alternative and the non-Western or not so obviously Western (and I don’t like the term “Western” but what are better options here)?
  2. Also, the connections and distinctions between phenomenology and ethnography are perhaps still to be explored, especially for game and VR evaluation.
  3. Phenomenology deserves even more criticism. It is either obvious, or difficult and subtle, available to all or best practiced by trained phenomenologists (or is that, people trained to detect or extract or train phenomenological accounts).
  4. Writing introductions to edited books can be very difficult.
  5. How HMDs will challenge our notions of embodiment and social presence in VR will be a very big thing.
  6. Locative media raise very interesting research avenues for embodiment and the concept of place.
  7. And on a workflow-related note, if the publisher doesn’t give you a complete, formal template at the start, stick to your own and demand it be used by all authors even if the final template changes. Saves a world of pain.
  8. Also, game and VR companies would save us all trouble by clearly saying which screenshots can be used in academic books or provide a pathway for a quicker permissions/rejections process. If your images are in a book, it is free PR!