AR and VR Gamification as a proof-of-concept
Designing Stories from the Grave: Reviving the History of a City through Human Remains and Serious Games
Recommendation: posted 26 August 2023, validated 29 August 2023
Hageneuer, S. (2023) AR and VR Gamification as a proof-of-concept. Peer Community in Archaeology, 100337. 10.24072/pci.archaeo.100337
Tsaknaki et al. (2023) discuss a work-in-progress project in which the presentation of Cultural Heritage is communicated using Serious Games techniques in a story-centric immersive narration instead of an exhibit-centered presentation with the use of Gamification, Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies. In the introduction the authors present the project called ECHOES, in which knowledge about the past of Thessaloniki, Greece is planned to be processed as an immersive and interactive experience. After presenting related work and the methodology, the authors describe the proposed design of the Serious Game and close the article with a discussion and conclusions.
The paper is interesting because it highlights an ongoing process in the realm of the visualization of Cultural Heritage (see for example Champion 2016). The process described by the authors on how to accomplish this by using Serious Games, Gamification, Augmented and Virtual Reality is promising, although still hypothetical as the project is ongoing. It remains to be seen if the proposed visuals and interactive elements will work in the way intended and offer users an immersive experience after all. A preliminary questionnaire already showed that most of the respondents were not familiar with these technologies (AR, VR) and in my experience these numbers only change slowly. One way to overcome the technological barrier however might be the gamification of the experience, which the authors are planning to implement.
I decided to recommend this article based on the remarks of the two reviewers, which the authors implemented perfectly, as well as my own evaluation of the paper. Although still in progress it seems worthwhile to have this article as a basis for discussion and comparison to similar projects. However, the article did not mention the possible longevity of data and in which ways the usability of the Serious Game will be secured for long-term storage. One eminent problem in these endeavors is, that we can read about these projects, but never find them anywhere to test them ourselves (see for example Gabellone et al. 2016). It is my intention with this review and the recommendation, that the ECHOES project will find a solution for this problem and that we are not only able to read this (and forthcoming) article(s) about the ECHOES project, but also play the Serious Game they are proposing in the near and distant future.
Champion, Erik Malcolm. 2016. „Entertaining the Similarities and Distinctions between Serious Games and Virtual Heritage Projects“. Entertainment Computing 14 (Mai): 67–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcom.2015.11.003
Gabellone, Francesco, Antonio Lanorte, Nicola Masini, und Rosa Lasaponara. 2016. „From Remote Sensing to a Serious Game: Digital Reconstruction of an Abandoned Medieval Village in Southern Italy“. Journal of Cultural Heritage. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2016.01.012
Tsaknaki, Electra, Anastasovitis, Eleftherios, Georgiou, Georgia, Alagialoglou, Kleopatra, Mavrokostidou, Maria, Kartsiakli, Vasiliki, Aidonis, Asterios, Protopsalti, Tania, Nikolopoulos, Spiros, and Kompatsiaris, Ioannis. (2023). Designing Stories from the Grave: Reviving the History of a City through Human Remains and Serious Games, Zenodo, 7981323, ver. 4 peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Archaeology. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7981323
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article. The authors declared that they comply with the PCI rule of having no financial conflicts of interest in relation to the content of the article.
European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE (project code: T2EDK-00152)
Evaluation round #2
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8163642
Version of the preprint: 2
Author's Reply, 22 Aug 2023
Decision by Sebastian Hageneuer, posted 21 Aug 2023, validated 21 Aug 2023
the article is now much better than before and I will recommend it ASAP. As PCI asked me to only recommend nearly perfect papers, I would urge you to do the following last edits. Another reviewer round is not necessary.
- Line 74: ...tto... should be ...to...
- Line 209: Afterward... should be Afterwards....
- One reviewer critizised the wrong usage of the word "Moreover", please check
- If you have the time and means, please let a native-speaker read over the article one more time
As soon as you revised these last steps, I will recommend your article. Good job!
Reviewed by Tine Rassalle, 18 Aug 2023
Reviewed by Sophie C. Schmidt, 02 Aug 2023
Evaluation round #1
DOI or URL of the preprint: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7981324
Version of the preprint: 1
Author's Reply, 21 Jul 2023
Decision by Sebastian Hageneuer, posted 14 Jul 2023, validated 14 Jul 2023
After reading your article and the corresponding reviews, I have to agree to the points taken by both reviewers. The article is in need of much work to make it suitable for publication. Please refer to the reviews. What certainly needs to be done:
- The beginning and end of the article speak of the ethics surrounding the display of human remains, but the text never touches that topic in the main body. Either leave this topic out completely, or incorporate it into the main text.
- There is the need for a language revision by a native speaker.
- The potentiality of the project is discussed in too much detail, as the project is still in progress and has nothing to show yet. I would suggest to shift the focus of the article towards the discussion on how to present the past with these technologies and what to gain from it in comparison to other projects. The article often suggests that what the project has planned is going to succeed, without any proof (as the work has not yet been done). This is way too positivistic and unscientific and needs to be rephrased/refocused.
- It is unusual to write a scientific paper that mentions questionaires without providing the data in some form. If you include questionaires, include the data into the article. The new digital form of the proceedings can include any form of data.
- Some terms need more explanation and citation, like Serious Games, the ECHOES project, Immersion, Thematic Axes, etc. Please refer to the reviews.
- The idea of immersion to create a narrative of the past is not new (Microsoft HoloTours for example), but there is no (not enough) mention of other projects and studies. This needs to be fixed. In general, there needs to be more discussion about the concept of emotions in digital technologies (with references) and less focus on the technologies planned to use.
Dear authors, I know, I know. I have received many reviews that forced me to rewrite my own articles and I was always disappointed. I get it. But we need to work together on this one to create an article that is worthy of the wonderful project you have planned to do. Please take this criticism constructively, it is only about the quality of the article and not in the slightest about you personally.
Best of luck!