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Serious Game in Cultural Heritage
The pandemic brought new norms and techniques of pedagogical strategies in formal education. The synchronous/ asynchronous video streaming brought an emphasis on virtual and augmented realities, which are rapidly replacing textbooks as the main medium for learning and teaching. This transformation requires more extensive online and interactive content with simpler user interfaces. The aim of this study is to report on the design, implementation, and testing of a game based on low-cost and user-friendly content for digital cultural heritage. In this project, a game aimed at inclusive and equitable education was developed using 360° images of the targeted architectural heritage geographically distributed in a pilot site. We promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, following the SDG4, aiming for quality education with the easy-to-use online platform and easy access to immersive education through mobile platforms. Towards a post-carbon future without the need for travel, computational design methods such as using 360° videos and images in combination with virtual reality (VR) headsets allow a low-cost approach to remotely experiencing cultural heritage. We propose developing and testing a GIS-based educational game using a low-cost 360° virtual tour of architectural heritage, more specifically, caravanserais of Anatolia.
Cultural heritage conservation has two aspects, tangible and intangible, both of which contribute greatly to the understanding of ancient inheritances. Due to the role of education in the preservation process, and the strength of the new media in the current era, serious games can play a key role in conservancy by transmitting the target culture. There is a gap in the serious game field in relation to Turkey's cultural heritage on the Silk Roads, underlining the motivation of this research. Hence, this study proposes the Anatolian Journey serious game, which is developed in the Twine platform, designed to transmit Turkey's tangible and intangible cultural heritage, providing comprehensive information on the Seljuk caravanserais, located on the Silk Roads. Moreover, the research compares undergraduate and graduate students' gains in knowledge of heritage data while playing a serious game and encountering the same content in text form with an online survey.
Efforts to preserve cultural heritage have continued throughout history, and currently use game technology. Serious games, with their audio-visual features make it possible for players to absorb and retain the often rather arid data of heritage. Furthermore, such technology facilitates the transmission of heritage globally amongst remote people, without the need to commute personally. Exploring the literature, we noted a lack of local game culture in Iran, and in the Middle East more broadly. This region is limited in terms of the existing global game industry, and the introduction of its culture to the world depends on the global market. This ascertains the paper's research problem: the need for more local games in the field to promote local historical culture. Hence, the paper aims to preserve and disseminate the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of its focus area, Iran’s Silk Roads and its caravanserais, by developing and testing a serious game named The Sericum Via. It has a non-linear narrative, engaging the player in a long journey visiting the Safavid caravanserais on the Silk Roads, using their detailed information. The game's text-based and strategic environment demands decision-making skills throughout the game and is challenging enough to make the player revisit the game frequently.