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Practical Skills: Archaeogaming - ARC00067I

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Guy Schofield
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

Archaeogaming is both the critical evaluation and creation of games by archaeologists. In this module we will examine and critique a broad range of games, from Dungeons and Dragons, to board games and video games from an archaeological perspective. We will investigate the archaeological evidence of games and gaming in the past. Using this knowledge as a foundation, we will then design, play and evaluate our own games based on archaeological data. In doing so, we will learn to ask new questions of the past, to critique depictions of archaeology in popular media tropes, and to find innovative, playful ways to share archaeological data.

Related modules

A directed option - students must pick a Practical Skills module and have a choice of which to take (one in Semester 2)

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The Practical Skills modules seek to introduce you to a range of skills in various diverse areas of archaeological practice and are designed to allow you to gain experience in a 'hands-on' manner.

This specific module aims:

  • To provide students with practical training in using archaeological data to design a game
  • To introduce students to a wide range of depictions of archaeologists and archaeological tropes within gaming
  • To provide students with the ability to contextualize and critically examine the concept of “play” within the context of archaeology

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module the students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the evidence of play and gaming in the past
  • Critically evaluate depictions of archaeology in popular culture
  • Apply the methods and techniques they have learned to use archaeological data to design a game

Module content

This module will investigate the intersection between gaming and archaeology by 1) examining games and the archaeological evidence of play in the past, 2) critiquing the use of archaeology and archaeologists as popular tropes in games 3) prototyping and playing games that we design in the module. Through this holistic approach to archaeogaming, we will see how games have been and continue to be used for play and education. Practical skills within this module will be 1) reusing archaeological data for dissemination to new audiences 2) designing play experiences 3) evaluating audience reception to archaeological interpretations 4) using digital technologies to create game experiences. At the end of the module students will have a critical, comprehensive understanding of the potential for the reuse of archaeological data in popular contexts, and an applied understanding of how game design and creation is undertaken.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Students will work week by week towards their summative assessment during their activities in class.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative: oral feedback from module leaders in class

Summative: written feedback within the University's turnaround policy

Indicative reading

  • Copplestone, T. J. (2017). Designing and developing a playful past in video games. The Interactive Past: Archaeology, Heritage & Video Games, 85–98.

  • Mol, A. A. A., Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, C. E., Boom, K. H. J., & Politopoulos, A. (2017). The Interactive Past: Archaeology, Heritage & Video Games. Sidestone Press.

  • Reinhard, A. (2018). Archaeogaming: An introduction to archaeology in and of video games. Berghahn Books.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.