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Unsettling play: perceptions of agonistic games

De Angeli, Daniela, Finnegan, Daniel ORCID:, Scott, Lee and O'Neill, Eamonn 2021. Unsettling play: perceptions of agonistic games. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage 14 (2) , 15. 10.1145/3431925

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In this paper, we propose Agonistic Games (AGs) as a serious games subcategory that can stimulate critical reflection on topics of dark heritage through multiperspectivity and unsettling play. We first discuss the emerging topic of agonism in memory studies, and then how games can be used to support its objectives. We then discuss the development of 2 original AGs: Endless Blitz and Umschlagplatz '43. We explore whether these two AGs were perceived as capable of stimulating critical reflection by collecting data from visitors to the exhibition 'Krieg. Macht. Sinn' at the Ruhr Museum in Germany where the games were installed, and from participants in an online course describing the games. From analysing data collected, we outline four factors inhibiting the capacity of AGs to stimulate critical reflection (topic, context, design, and assumptions about games) and propose strategies for overcoming these inhibitors. Our findings are valuable to scholars, game researchers, and designers, strengthening the foundations for the design and development of future AGs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
ISSN: 1556-4673
Funders: EU H2020-EU3.6, RCUK CAMERA EP/M023281/1
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 October 2020
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2023 10:40

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