Week 10: Impacts 2 – Digital Heritage

Lecture: Gamifying heritage

Reading: Mortara, Michela, Chiara Eva Catalano, Francesco Bellotti, Giusy Fiucci, Minica Houry-Panchetti & Panagiotis Petridis. 2014. Learning cultural heritage by serious games. Journal of Cultural Heritage 15(3). 318–325. [pdf]


Activity 1: Playing a game
There are links to two online games related to cultural material below. We think one is good (for its intended audience anyway), but the other is not at all good. What do you think? And what is good or bad about each example?

My Culture Quest (requires Flash player)

Indomilando (requires registration, Monash Google account will get you in)


  1. Would you play this game again? If so why, if not why not?
  2. Were there aspects of the game which you enjoyed? What were they?
  3. Were there aspects of the game which you did not enjoy? What were they?
  4. Do you have any new knowledge after playing the game?

Activity 2: Designing a game
Work in groups, or as one group if you prefer. Choose one of the topics below and make a paper prototype of a game intended to engage and educate players. A paper prototype means sketching some of the screens which will make up your game and indicating how the user will navigate through them. You will probably want to start with an overall schema for how progress through the game will work, then think about what the important points along that path are and what they might look like. There are links below to some resources which provide some basic information about the topics, but you should be creative.
Here are some questions which to keep in mind which can guide your thinking:

  1. What is the intended audience for your game?
  2. What platform or platforms should it be available on?
  3. What technical resources/expertise will be needed?
  4. Is it intended to be played at a specific location or can it be played anywhere?
  5. What sort of game will it be: quiz, strategy, other?


1. Becoming a settler – land grants in colonial Australia
Land Grants in Early Colonial Van Diemen’s Land
Land Grants Guide, 1788-1856 (NSW)
Land Tenure and Settlement (ABS)

2. The Ainu people of Japan and their culture
Ainu Association of Hokkaido
Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture

3.  Pyromancy and oracle bones
Oracle Bone Collections (Institute of History and Philology, Taipei)
Oracle Bone (University of Cambridge Library)
Oracle Bone Script

Optional Activity:
If you would like to try out a different kind digital cultural experience, have a look at Vanitas. Chapter 1 is a free app, but it is a big download (almost 400mb).


Image credit: From Nexto