Contents page 1 — Buried, in pixels, page 2 — study on “Skyrim” On a page

Careful Andrew Reinhard directs the laser beam from his gun in a circular orbit around its Fund. After he pulverized the porous earth, of a metal object is buried. Tense, he presses the buttons on his PlayStation Controller, little harder than is actually necessary. Today could succeed, those of discovery, he has hunted for months afterwards.

Reinhard, this tension actually knows. The tall man grins to pictures like a child on the first day of school, is a doctoral student of archaeology at the University of York and has participated in his career in numerous archaeological excavations. However, the Situation in which it is located, is for the more experienced archaeologists uncharted territory. Instead of standing with trowel and shovel on a dusty arable somewhere in Greece, he sits at home in his living room in front of the TV and directs a dig in the video game No Man’s Sky.

“No Man’s Sky is a complete universe that can be explored by players,” says Reinhard. “This universe, including all planets, plants, animals, buildings, and artifacts, is completely randomly generated. This means that the Code of the game has created a digital world that never has anyone, not even the developers themselves, with their own eyes.” To discover these secrets and to document, made available to the archaeologist to the task.

completion of work on virtual artefacts

to be on the exploration of new virtual worlds, we are prepared, he founded shortly before the game’s release in August 2016, the research group No Man’s Sky Archaeological Survey (NMSAS). Under its Banner, dozens of archaeology gathered in addition to Reinhard-student, the leaves almost every day since with a stack of the form, tables, and notepads to put in your space ship, in order to decipher the secrets of the game. Some of them will even write your thesis, work on your virtual finds.

The work carried out by Reinhard and his students, now has a name: archaeo gaming, so the connection to archaeology (Archaeology) and video game (Gaming). In addition to universities in the United States and England, to establish this new research discipline gradually as a separate field of study, Leiden, the Dutch University to the world’s most important archaeological gaming stronghold. Regularly archeology organizes students together with their professors, Let’s-Play-the evenings on which video games are played with a historical scene together.

definitions of the subject area are changeable

in addition, the University has been organizing in 2016, the Interactive-Pasts conference, which has quickly become the most important Event of the archaeological gaming Community. A look in the program folders of these events shows that as Long as the work can span to play a bridge between archaeology and video, it is in the archaeological gaming circle welcome. At the same time, some members of this Community concern.

Because “What are you doing archeological gamer?” is one of the most difficult and at the same time most frequently asked questions, which the new generation of Researchers. Your specialist, which is officially only since 2013, under the today’s name not known, was able to convince especially young archaeologists, however, in contrast to the classical archaeology there is no common principle, Ethos, or policy. Instead, dozens of Blogs, online forums and conferences on a regular basis the Definition and tools of their discipline re-negotiate.

Some of the archaeological gamers company virtual excavations, others are self-developers and search for the most interesting, Because, in their worlds, to portray, others knock video games with historical Settings on your source of loyalty. The effort, archaeological tools, and theories to strictly scientific on a video game world, meanwhile, is only one facet of the subject, which is now open to Amateur archaeologists and history enthusiasts.

So it is not only much more difficult to present the tray to the outside and present, but also to establish a research tradition from their mistakes learned, and their insights could be built. During the German archaeology would bring traditionalists to Despair, to see some of the archaeological gamers the flowing borders of your own compartment rather as a strength than as a weakness.