Unsettling play: perceptions of Agonistic Games

De Angeli, D, Finnegan, D.J, Scott, L and O'Neill, E (2021) 'Unsettling play: perceptions of Agonistic Games.' Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, 14 (2). e15. ISSN 1556-4673

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3431925


In this article, 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 two 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
Keywords: Agonistic games, Agonism, games beyond entertainment, UNREST, Krieg Macht Sinn, dark heritage, series games, memory studies, museum games
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Bath School of Design
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1145/3431925
Date Deposited: 28 May 2021 15:24
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2022 15:07
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14042
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