Remember Us: Designing a Video Game Through a Public History Lens
Emslie, Jenna Katelyn
Date Created:
Degree Awarded:
Master of Arts - Public History
Video games Historiography Representation Interpretation Design Historical Empathy
Geographical Focus:
Canada Ontario
Supporting Materials:
If you were to imagine what a public history-centred video game could look like, what would it be? What would make it good public history, what needs to be included for it to make a pedagogical argument? This major research project is an experiment in creating a game design document (GDD) for a public history game called Remember Us, a game centred around the experiences of immigrants and the working class in 1898 Ontario. This experiment takes the form of a GDD. A GDD is a roadmap for developers to follow when making games and is just as integral to the game as the narrative. This essay describes what a GDD is, the process of making one, and how its narrative and game mechanics intersect with historiography. This essay sets the scene for exploring the GDD. This essay also challenges readers to think differently about games and their potential for public history: Games have the power to not only bring something new to the discipline, but to give players and readers a memorable experience that challenges them to think in new, participatory ways outside the traditional forms of academic study.
Preferred Citation:
Emslie, Jenna Katelyn. 2021. "Remember Us: Designing a Video Game Through a Public History Lens", Department of History, Carleton University
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