Not since the days of abjectly failing to collect gold rings as Sonic and, later, being repeatedly defeated by ‘friends’ on GoldenEye have I classed myself as part of the gaming community. This was mostly down to my inept gameplay rather than any particular aversion and, of course, the community is much developed from those relatively early days. Many gaming genres have emerged, with careful storytelling and developed design creating immersive and challenging experiences for players.
The Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) sector has also become involved in gaming, as a way of interpreting and presenting their collections. The British Library – and their annual Off The Map competitions – have really led the way in this regard, developing themes to allow student games developers to create vivid and exciting interpretations of their collections. Other institutions have made made memorable games, such as the V&A’s Strawberry Thief.
Over the weekend of 18-19 June my colleague Julie Halls and I teamed up with Jo Pugh of the University of York (and formerly of this parish) as part of the York Festival of Ideas, to host a game jam: participants had two days to create a game inspired by archival material held at The National Archives. We decided on the theme of ‘steampunk’, in an attempt to utilise some of our visual material created during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and Julie’s record specialism. Continue reading »