Draft of an (undergrad) archaeogaming thesis

As many of you know I’ll be beginning my anthropology honours thesis writing come September 10th. As such I’ve written down/sketched out a bit of an outline of what I’d like the next 8 months to look like, and before I submit my final draft of this document to my supervisors (@kbiittner and @sarahshulist) I’d love to get your feedback! What readings am I missing? Are there other projects I should spend my time on? Other comments or concerns? Let me know @mxmoireabh or through the comments!

Archaeogaming (September – mid October)


  • Summary of intent: “Why study linguistic archaeogaming?”/self orientation (20%)
  • Ethics statement: (5%)
  • Book review: Archaeogaming (10%)

Video Games as Linguistic Artefacts (Material Paratexts) (mid October – mid November)


  • smth on Chaine Operatoire
  • A Geology of Media (Jussi Parikka)


  • Case study: Eternal Dagger (10%)

Video Games as Linguistic Artefacts (Digital Narratives) (mid November – mid December)


  • The Phenomenology of Real and Virtual Places (Erik Malcolm Champion)


  • Book or article review (10%)

Conlangs in Games (January)


  • Conlanging


  • Presentation: 30 minute presentation on conlangs in games (5%)

Video Game Translation (February)


  • Game Localization: Translating for the Global Digital Entertainment Industry (Minako O’Hagan)


  • Case study: History of the Super Comboy (10%)

Summary (March – mid April)


  • Research paper: “How may or is the language of and in videogames studied archaeologically?” (20%)
  • Presentation: 1 hour presentation of research (10%)

“Colour Palettization as Archaeogaming Method” #PATC Companion Post

Friday (April 28th) is (finally!) the Public Archaeology Twitter Conference, and I’ll be presenting a paper originally written for Dr. Katie Biittner’s (of “AnthropologyAs“) Fall 2016 course ANTH 321: Archaeology of Gender entitled “Colour Palettization as Archaeogaming Method” at 22:45BST/15:45MDT! The Public Archaeology Twitter Conference (#PATC on Twitter) was graciously organized by Lorna Richardson, and my thanks go out to her for all her organizational and administrative efforts thus far. As someone who lives with chronic illness the concept of conferences is quite fraught for me, and having this entire conference take place online takes a lot of stress off my shoulders!


Now for some ~personal~ writing meta: early on in ANTH 321 Dr. Biittner allowed for a ~research essay workshopping class~ (something which I personally find super helpful!), and in considering All The Ways gender is experienced and expressed my thoughts drifted to All The Ways gender is experienced and expressed in [specifically video] games. Having been introduced to Tara Copplestone’sGamingarchaeo” and Andrew Reinhardt’sArchaeogaming” over Summer 2016 I pitched [a lot, but it boiled down to]: “Is it possible to use colour seriation (inspired by the Lego colour seriation found at “67 Years of Lego Sets“) to track one or more aspects of gendered expressions in video games through time?”

Overlay for the Magnavox Odyssey game “Simon Says” (1972)–the Odyssey overlays are a fun early example of colour being “added” to video games. [http://bit.ly/2q80aaH]
Obviously that’s a super dang ambitious question to answer, and for the sake of not burning out of the semester the questions I ended up trying to answer were: “Is palettization of video game material possible? And if possible, is it accessible? And if accessible, what are maybe some of the implications of that?” Still ambitious, but absolutely more reasonable than “I wanna use colour theory to seriate smth like Final Fantasy to see if and/or how the series is Gendered” for a four-month undergrad course.

My greatest thanks go out to Dr. Biittner for her continued support and mentorship. (Read as: “Thanks to her for being both an amazing academic and a geek, and subsequently supporting me in my proto-academic geekery.”) I’d also like to extend thanks to my Mum and Dad for putting SNES controllers in mine and my brother’s hands as kids, thus sparking our lifelong love for video games.

As “Colour Palettization as Archaeogaming Method” is currently in review with the Macewan University Student eJournal (MUSe) I’m unable to publish the full paper here, however please see below for a list of presentation figures and project bibliography:

Continue reading ““Colour Palettization as Archaeogaming Method” #PATC Companion Post”