[UPDATE March 25, 2017: The second issue of the Archaeological Record is now available as Open Access.]
Archaeogaming has gone mainstream in a special themed issue of the Archaeological Record published on November 15, 2016, by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). You can download and read the entire Open Access issue. Here’s what’s inside:
“Video Games and Archaeology” is an introduction to the themed issue by Colleen Morgan (University of York) who was instrumental in making this issue happen. Bringing archaeogaming to the attention of such a wide and diverse readership as the SAA’s is a huge accomplishment and paves the way for more video game archaeology articles to appear in this and other peer reviewed archaeological journals. Thank you, Colleen, for enabling this giant leap.
“Video Games in Archaeology: Enjoyable but Trivial?” comes to us from the postgraduate students at the University of Leiden’s VALUE Project (Angus Mol, Csilla Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn Boom, Aris Politopoulos, and Vincent Vandemeulebroucke)
“The Archaeologist Who Studies Video Games and the Things He Learned There”, was authored by Shawn Graham (Carleton University).
I contributed “Toward Archaeological Tools and Methods for Excavating Virtual Spaces.”
Edward González-Tennant (Digital Heritage Interactive LLC) wrote on “Archaeological Walking Simulators.”
L. Meghan Dennis (University of York) continues her work on archaeology, ethics, and video games with “Archaeogaming, Ethics,and Participatory Standards.”
Juan F. Hiriart (University of Salford) rounds out the issue with “Surviving the Middle Ages: Notes on Crafting Gameplay for a Digital Historical Game.”
There is never too much of a good thing, so a 2017 issue of the SAA’s Archaeological Record will feature three additional archaeogaming articles (originally part of the group above) by Tara Copplestone (featured on the cover, University of York/Aarhus University), Erik Champion (Curtin University), and Colleen Morgan.
Erik Champion: “Bringing Your A-Game to Digital Archaeology: Issues with Serious Games and Virtual Heritage and What We Can Do About It”
Tara Copplestone: “Adventures in Archaeological Game Creation”
Colleen Morgan: “An Unexpected Archaeology: An Interventionist Strategy for Video Games and Archaeology”
The writing and thinking in each of these articles seamlessly flows from one to the next, from the ethical to the practical, from considering the actual archaeology of virtual worlds to the reception of archaeology in them to the creation of historical games. I suspect these articles (and the three to come) will spark animated dialogue as archaeologists continue to push the definition of what is archaeological, and how we can prepare ourselves (and the public) for the archaeology of the future, of which video games and other digital media are very much a part.
-Andrew Reinhard, Archaeogaming