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The Teos of Dionysos
Serious game is conceptualized as a digital medium to familiarize users with less popular cultural topics, and significantly increase their interest level and engagement. Our case study to present and discuss this conceptualization is based on the ancient city of Teos. This paper discusses and presents the Digital Teos Project, an interdisciplinary research investigating and digitally animating the archaeological excavation area, including a static public setup in the excavation site, and augmented immersive revisit through VR devices and a mobile game application. Within the scope of this paper, our focus is on the Teos of Dionysos game, a mobile platform puzzle game. The game adopts a mythological narrative where four distinctive archaeological settings are designed to tell the story of the God Dionysos and to convey archaeological knowledge into playable interactions. The familiar conventions of a mobile platform game are utilized to convey the archaeological impressions and inspirations, allowing users to build an empathic understanding of ancient architecture. Besides the game convention of fun and curiosity, this game has a multidimensional objective of raising awareness on the archaeological site, historical background, and mythological stories with educational and instructive aspects. This pedagogical challenge is also an opportunity for new methods of creating and distributing accumulated/novel knowledge. We believe that game-based learning (GBL) can significantly enhance learning for a multitude of users from different educational backgrounds, and do so in diverse application domains.
In this study, the serious game is conceptualized as a digital medium to convert archaeological knowledge into playable interactions via a case study in the ancient city of Teos. The Teos of Dionysos Game is a digital platform that allows players without specialist computer skills to explore the archaeological knowledge and experience an ancient urban setup. A mythological story about the God Dionysos has been verbally and visually transcribed and adapted for four distinctive settings of this ancient site. The familiar realm of an interactive space, navigated by intuitive behaviours in a game setting, conveys archaeological data, allowing players to build an empathic understanding of ancient architecture. Diverse stakeholders have already tested a mobile game prototype in a workshop, which explored whether those without a prior historical background can advance their existing knowledge through activities that aim at providing entertainment.