My Digital Humanities Project Proposal

The Scope

For my proposed digital humanities project, I will delve into the intercultural and historical representations in modern video games. As an avid gamer, I’ve observed that many of the prominent video games released over the past decade have leveraged the depiction of various cultures, including indigenous groups, to weave intriguing narratives and foster compelling plot developments, particularly in RPG-style games. However, while it is fascinating to see such a diverse range of cultures integrated into story-based gaming, I have always been curious about the accuracy of these historical representations in reality.

This project aims to explore and critique the portrayal of historical narratives within popular video games, striving to bridge the gap between historical fact and digital fiction. To achieve this, the project will employ a focused set of digital humanities tools: Voyant for textual analysis, TimelineJS for chronological storytelling, and Twine for interactive narrative exploration. Through the analysis of the content and structure of historical narratives in video games, the project seeks to foster a deeper understanding of how these games shape our perception of history.

By scrutinizing how video games represent different cultures and historical events, we can assess their role in both educating and misinforming players about the past. The accuracy of these representations is crucial, as video games have the power to influence public understanding and memory of historical and cultural narratives. Through Voyant, we will conduct a detailed textual analysis of game scripts and dialogues to identify patterns, biases, and inaccuracies in the depiction of various cultures. TimelineJS will allow us to map out the historical timelines presented in these games against actual historical events, providing a visual representation of where games align with or diverge from historical accuracy. Finally, Twine will enable us to create interactive narratives that offer alternative or corrected versions of these histories, allowing players to explore the potential impact of different historical interpretations.

The Presentation

The project will be hosted on my WordPress site, designed to guide visitors through each phase of the project. The site will feature an intuitive navigation system, allowing users to easily access the Voyant analysis, TimelineJS timelines, and Twine narratives. Each section will include an introductory explanation of the tool used, its relevance to the project, and a summary of findings or experiences it offers. The first phase involves a detailed textual analysis of game scripts and narratives using Voyant. This tool will enable us to visualize the frequency and distribution of historical figures, events, and locations within the game content. By examining these elements, we aim to identify patterns and biases in the portrayal of history, providing a quantitative analysis for our critique of historical representation in video games.

Another aspect of the site will use TimelineJS (hopefully a WordPress plugin exists) to create interactive timelines that juxtapose the historical timelines presented in video games against actual historical events. This visual comparison will highlight discrepancies and accuracies within the games’ narratives to showcase interactive means of understanding where games diverge from or align with historical facts. The timelines will be enriched with multimedia sources, including images, primary documents, and scholarly commentary, to provide a comprehensive historical context. Twine will be employed to craft interactive narratives that allow users to explore historically accurate scenarios based on our findings from the Voyant and TimelineJS analyses. However, I am still in the brainstorming phase for how exactly Twine will come into play without being overly complicated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *