Tabernacle-Game world

Turner, Jane (2008) Tabernacle-Game world. [Digital/Creative Work]


Tabernacle is an experimental game world-building project which explores the relationship between the map and the 3-dimensional visualisation enabled by high-end game engines. The project is named after the 6th century tabernacle maps of Cosmas Indicopleustes in his Christian Topography. These maps articulate a cultural or metaphoric, rather than measured view of the world, contravening Alper's distinction which observes that “maps are measurement, art is experience”. The project builds on previous research into the use of game engines and 3D navigable representation to enable cultural experience, particularly non-Western cultural experiences and ways of seeing. Like the earlier research, Tabernacle highlights the problematic disjuncture between the modern Cartesian map structures of the engine and the mapping traditions of non-Western cultures. Tabernacle represents a practice-based research provocation. The project exposes assumptions about the maps which underpin 3D game worlds, and the autocratic tendencies of world construction software. This research is of critical importance as game engines and simulation technologies are becoming more popular in the recreation of culture and history. A key learning from the Tabernacle project was the ways in which available game engines – technologies with roots in the Enlightenment - constrained the team’s ability to represent a very different culture with a different conceptualisation of space and maps. Understanding the cultural legacies of the software itself is critical as we are tempted by the opportunities for representation of culture and history that they seem to offer. The project was presented at Perth Digital Arts and Culture in 2007 and reiterated using a different game engine in 2009. Further reflections were discussed in a conference paper presented at OZCHI 2009 and a peer-reviewed journal article, and insights gained from the experience continue to inform the author’s research.

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ID Code: 48963
Item Type: Creative Work (Digital/Creative Work)
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Jane Turner (truna aka j.turner)
Other Contributors:
Role Contributors
Production team (2006)
  • Glen Gugliotti - Environment Artist (terrain) and Team Lead
  • Jonathan de Araujo - Environment Artist (buildings)
  • Ryan Veenstra - Character and Environment Modeller (buildings)
  • Zac Fitz-Walter - Character Modeller
  • Ashley Guy - Concept Artist (characters)
  • Glen van den Bergen - Level Scripter
  • Simon Joslin - Writer
  • Justin Mullins - Sound Engineer
  • Victor Creecy-Roberts - Sound Engineer
  • Gabriel Couper - Props Modeller
Production team (2009)
    Material: Digital Creative Works (Half-Life 2 SDK)
    Keywords: Computer Games, Spatial Practices, Place, Maps
    Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID)
    Current > Schools > School of Design
    Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
    Deposited On: 23 Jan 2015 06:29
    Last Modified: 23 Nov 2015 00:26

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