Old video game screenshot from the game “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)
Archaeology Games

New publication out: Indiana Jones in video games

on
2024-06-28

It took a while, but last week a new publication came out that includes a chapter from me. I am proud to be part of this volume and to be able to write a little about video games. I am not only looking at a specific Indiana Jones game, no, I write about all of them. Well nearly all of them… and how they did not change a lot over the past 43 years…

The volume

So before I talk about my chapter, let’s talk about the volume. It has the title “The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and the Media in the 21st century“. The publisher is… well Routledge. The editors are no others than Lorna Richardson, Andrew Reinhard, and Nicole Smith. The volume came out on 20th June 2024. It features three parts (“Still Images, Moving Pictures, and Interactive Digital Spaces”, “Ethics and the Internet”, and “Public Archaeology”) and is 382 pages thick.

Andrew Reinhard has a chapter on “Archaeogaming: The State of the Field in 2022”. Kevin McGeough writes about “Victorian Popular Culture in Twenty-First-Century Archaeological Media”, both very interesting topics related to my disseratation. I wish I had these before submitting! Other topics include “Wikipedia and Archaeology”, “Chinese (Pseudo)Archaeology on Television”, or “Museum and Digitization in the Aftermath of Colonialism in Southern Africa”. The topics in this volume are broad and super interesting!

The chapter

My own chapter is about Indiana Jones or more specifically about “Indiana Jones in video games – Depicting Archaeology as Colonial Practice”. I start off with an overview of all the Indiana Jones video games I could find. From Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), from Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (1999) to LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (2009). I even mentioned the upcoming game by Bethesda, although at the time of writing the annoucement was just out.

I then take a closer look at my personal favourite Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992), I have written about that game here before. After describing the plot in more detail, I analyse the game for its tropes and the creation of a felt authenticity, which in turn has a major influence on players and their deception of how the past was or the profession of archaeology acts. In my conclusions I mention that these tropes are unbreakably connected to the figure of Indiana Jones and that I expect the upcoming game to cater to them as well.

No open access?

Be that as it may, the publication is unfortunately not open access and it is not cheap either. Currently the price amounts to £215 for the printed and £40 for the e-book. That is unfortunate and I think the editors were surprised as well. I still hope there will be ways to read the book…


Hageneuer, Sebastian. 2024. “Indiana Jones in Videogames – Depicting Archaeology as Colonial Practice.” In Archaeology and the Media in the 21st Century, edited by Lorna-Jane Richardson, Andrew Reinhard, and Nicole Smith, 162–75. London: Routledge. http://doi.org/10.4324/9781003216155-12.
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Sebastian Hageneuer
Germany

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. (Nearly) Every Friday.

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