Theses Master's

Video Game as an Immersive Interactive Virtual Interpretation of Historic Heritages, Taking Assassin’s Creed as an Example

Ma, Lai

Assassin’s Creed series is a good combination of immersive, interactive virtual experiences of historic content, especially historic heritages. While many of the traditional physical interpretation programs of historic heritages face serious challenges of accessibility, sustainability, and the value of preservation, the video games represented by the Assassin’s Creed series could provide a very good alternative. Through the systematic review of the game contents, especially the historic content, we could get the following conclusions. It shows significant potential for the use of new technologies for presenting historic content in an attractive way. It provides various types of interactive methods for players to experience the virtual historic environment. It also provides convenient means for players to save and share their virtual experience in the game, and compare it with the experience which they could get in the real world. The review also reveals a series of problems that make the game unqualified as an interpretation method of historic heritages so far.

Many of the problems are very likely caused by the entertainment-oriented developing attitude. Trying to solve the problem and provide a more educational virtual experience of historic content, the producing team started to release a new game mode named Discovery Tour with every new edition of the game series. This game mode successfully provided a new game experience compared with the original mode, but caused new problems such as the lack of interactive experience. As a general conclusion, Assassin’s Creed series shows great potential in becoming a new interpretation method of historic heritages. The historic preservation and relative fields shall pay close attention to the future development of this field, learn from the experience of this game development, or participate in the development of the same type of games with a more active attitude.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Historic Preservation
Thesis Advisors
Otero-Pailos, Jorge
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 2, 2021