A year ago, I reported of an Archaeogaming course I have created. I also showed you the results (games) the students created. This year, I did the course again and we have again new Archaeogames that actually all look awesome! We cover underwater archaeology, excavation ethics, and even play a nightguard in a museum!
This year, the students created five different games. In Mixed Up Museum, you play a nightguard that suddenly wakes up at night in an untidy museum. You only have a couple of hours to clean up. So you need to use the knowledge you find in the museum. Cleverly, you only have a flashlight and it looses its energy fast. The game Unearthed simulates an archaeological excavation where you have to dig your way through various layers to find everything. The game also lets you sort the finds to complete the game.
In Life along the Nile, we play an ancient Egyptian, who searches for clues on how to farm crops correctly. The game is narrated by one of my students and very atmospheric. In The Schliemann Experience you play a student of Schliemann and have to behave how he tells you. Fortunately, a real teacher is always by your side to explain what archaeologists today would actually do. Finally, Submerged let’s you play a diver who travels back in time because he touched a wall painting in a submerged cave. Help the diver to find his way through the Palaeolithic on his way back home.
What to learn from them
As last time, it was very important for the course to think about the representation of Archaeology and/or the past in these games. Each game was created by a small group of people in one semester, so do not expect too much from the quality or size of the game. It is more about developing a good idea with a message. I think all five games succeeded in that. You learn about the past in all of the games and especially The Schliemann Experience shows you how to NOT excavate in a fun way.
All games are really thought through and offer a lot to read, listen, and think about. For the students, it was again an experience to work in an interdisciplinary team (Archaeology, Digital Archaeology, Digital Humanities) and to self-organise to a tight time-schedule. Although there are always some problems, most of the groups managed to bring their game to a playable and publishable state.
Where to find them
Again, the games are available on Zenodo and available though the website of the University of Cologne. You can either go to the Overview Page with an introduction and links to both semesters or you can go directly to the page of the Summer Semester 2023. Just download the games you want to play and extract them into a folder. Sometimes you get a message that the games are not secure, but this is only due to the fact that the games are made by students and do not fulfil all security measures.
Please enjoy the games and share the links. The students put a lot of effort into these games and it would make me really happy if a lot of people can see and play them!