XML Version
Angeletaki, A., Benardou, A., Chatzidiakou, N., Papaki, E. (2016). Playing With Cultural Heritage Through Digital Gaming: The New Narrative of the ARK4 Project. In Digital Humanities 2016: Conference Abstracts. Jagiellonian University & Pedagogical University, Kraków, p. 730.
Playing With Cultural Heritage Through Digital Gaming: The New Narrative of the ARK4 Project

Playing With Cultural Heritage Through Digital Gaming: The New Narrative of the ARK4 Project

In this poster we illustrate the impact of digital technology applications in the field of the contemporary museum and cultural heritage practice using data from workshops held at the 3D laboratory in Trondheim, Norway as well as in the Digital Curation Unit, ATHENA R.C. in Athens, Greece.

Significant transformations have taken place in the field of digital heritage due to the large extent of digitization of cultural heritage collections, the development of gaming and the application of more interactive use of cultural information on the Web. Going digital in the cultural heritage sector has created another space of interaction for users who seem to be increasingly involved in this digital landscape. Apart from that, digital applications have wore different disguises employed in different kinds of devices used effectively in the GLAM sector. Whether this wide adoption of technology suggests the wider engagement of the public with cultural heritage awaits interpretations.

Does a digital visit realize itself differently in an immersive cultural landscape where the person visiting a site or an exhibition is active in seeking knowledge? Does this innovation really transforms the relation between user and cultural object? These are some of the main questions the project ARK4 has been dealing with since 2014. Experimenting with content, appearance and user design, our aim was to create a new virtual space of dialogue between the person asking the question and the organisation holding the answer and to explore different methods of technology in disseminating knowledge from the past to a young audience. To this purpose, we have experimented with different kinds of content from botany to archaeology and with different types of technology applications, from digital games on touch screens to online questionnaires. By following user centric methods, this varied interplay of content, digital applications and audience has presented interesting findings in terms of user satisfaction, evaluation of the content and the digital means.

As the project enters its second phase, it also aims to create engagement and educational activities in the immediate community in order to engage school-children, university students and local enterprises in the seek of knowledge of the past. Each individual can be allowed in the frame of our project to deliver their own experiential perception on the story/game he/she chooses to interact with according to their own individualized level of pre-understanding and motivation. That is the visitor`s background, nationality and identity may influence and vary the outcome of the experience to be expected. Thus the visit becomes a complex process of interpretation and our inquiry might add a new dimension to the debate of creating a dialogue between European shared memory institutions and the individual visitor which can then manifest itself in experiencing diversity. Using the interaction between the participants and the objects as an observation field one allows the outcome to be varied and justified by the visitors’ personal intention. Our poster will present findings of three workshops organized in collaboration with museums and schools in Norway and Greece between 2014 and 2015. In our study we analyze data on how school children interact, work and learn in the context of educational workshops, through observation, discussions, and direct surveys, interviews of the students, system log-files and performance tests. Focusing on archaeological context, the project ARK4 in its new phase will further explore user interactivity with digital technologies and gaming. The broader impact of the study contributes to the discussions on issues pertaining to educational activities from the users’ perspective.