Cultural heritage in role-playing video games: A map of approaches

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Journal Article

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Published version

Majewski, Jakub. (2015). Cultural heritage in role-playing video games: A map of approaches. Furnace(2), 24-36.

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In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to applying video game technology to the development of virtual heritage tools. One noteworthy form of game is the role-playing game (RPG). RPGs seek to immerse the player in a character within a specific imaginary world, usually based to some degree on reality. RPGs can transmit cultural heritage, but the breadth and depth of engagement with culture depend on the game’s focus. This paper argues games involving heritage can be divided into four categories depending on their focus towards entertainment or non-entertainment, and emphasis on mass market or small market appeal. Each category has different advantages and disadvantages from the heritage perspective. Several RPGs and RPG-like games are examined across the four categories to illustrate their different approaches to accuracy, detail, and accessibility.



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