The Past and the Curious

Chinese Warrior Statues

Ancient Coins

African Mask
Last year, I interned with a museum curator who spoke with so much passion about the artifacts in the collection that it got me really interested in archaeology. It was the first time that I had an opportunity to learn about how and where the artifacts in a museum were found. I even got to speak with an archaeologist about her experiences.

Archaeology is the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains. For example, much of what we know about early African civilizations was learned through studying old household objects, art works, and bones. While the archaeologist shared her experiences, I couldn’t help but notice her sense of curiosity and wonderment about everything. I guess these are some qualities that drive archaeologists to do what they do!

I took a lot of detailed notes as she spoke, but it wasn’t until I returned to Gamestar that I thought about expressing the ideas that had fascinated me so. I didn’t want to make a game about simply finding things, like treasure or bones. I wanted to capture the qualities of archaeology that really appealed to me. I designed a game that was about exploration of a very large horizontal and vertical space. The game required the player to be persistent and curious enough to find mysterious objects scattered in a city of ruins.

Because I was interested in how archaeologists sift through many layers in search of artifacts, I created a game with multiple levels. Each level began with a question and ended with the discovery of a particular artifact, which the player got to know about only through the outro label if he won the level. I am not sure how successful I was with this game, but it felt good to try and express my thoughts and ideas about archaeology, which had been in my head since last year.