Serious games for interactive stories about emotionally challenging heritage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


Serious games are digital games that are intended to teach or train the players, to give them new knowledge or change their beliefs and attitudes about something. As a new form of media, serious games might also be applied to a wider range of purposes, including cultural heritage. However, difficulties include the need to be faithful to historical facts, while giving the player freedom; and the need to deal with subject matter that is sometimes offensive, or repulsive or even horrific. We designed and made a serious game for the emotionally challenging subject of the Holocaust, specifically with refugees escaping Nazi persecution across Europe. The game relates the story of a Holocaust survivor, who was a young girl at the time, as she fled with her Jewish family from the Nazi invasion of Poland. There are mini-game elements that illustrate particular episodes of the story and make the game more interactive and varied. For special authenticity, the narrator speaks with the voice of the main character, now that she is an elderly woman. We describe the design of the game, and evaluate it as a serious game for the digital heritage of difficult subject matter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 Digital Heritage International Congress
Subtitle of host publication2015 Digital Heritage
EditorsJuan Carlos Torres, Gabriele Guidi, Juan Barcelo, Luciana Duranti, Holger Graf, Pere Brunet, Susan Hazan, Roberto Scopigno, Fabio Remondino
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781509000487
ISBN (Print)9781509002542
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • digital heritage
  • Holocaust survivors
  • interactive stories
  • Nazi persecution
  • school children
  • Serious games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies


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