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SASA's Archaeogaming Program Supported by Major UNC Grant

Save Ancient Studies Alliance (SASA) is delighted to announce the continued development of their Archaeogaming team and the launch of our archaeogaming video learning modules being distributed to middle school teachers as part of their history and social studies curricula. This development has been supported by a significant grant from the University of North Carolina’s Critical Issues Fund, which will support this project in full for the first half of 2022.

Who are we?

SASA works to reverse the current downward trend in the study of the Ancient World, broadly defined. Building a grassroots movement through outreach, collaboration, accessibility, and public scholarship, we strive toward our goal of inspiring a wider, inclusive community of learners and students from all Ancient Studies fields.

What is Archaeogaming?

Archaeogaming is an innovative approach to the ancient world that combines a detailed, high-resolution depiction of the past with the engaging gameplay of modern video games. Rendering the ancient past in a three-dimensional videoscape and allowing the player to explore and interact with the world around them allows them to develop an idea of what the ancient world might have appeared like, how different it was to the modern world we live in, yet how similar the people were.

Why is this helpful?

Archaeogaming grips and engages young people in learning about the past as it is a more interactive learning experience. All our archaeogaming video learning modules - or AVLM’s - are age appropriate, offering video clips that show how the ancient world has been rendered in game. They require no prior knowledge on behalf of the educator - they all come with their own handouts and context pages that make sure that the educators can really get to grips with the information before they teach it - no gaming experience needed! Our AVLM’s are currently aimed at the 11-14 year old age bracket, but there is scope to scale it up all the way through to undergraduate level teaching. The sky really is the limit with archaeogaming, and here at SASA we are putting these creations to the best possible use by providing accessible education for all.

Our archaeogaming lead at SASA, Abaan, is a teacher in training, and is working with SASA to help develop our AVLM’s - without any background in video games! This shows just how accessible these tools are designed to be. Her passion for the project has helped to push it to ever greater heights, helping to identify key themes within games that can be helpful for educators to focus on and teach about the past with. While times change, and media habits do too, Abaan believes that archaeogaming as an educational tool is no different to the use of films or stories in the past to help young people understand the past.

It is thanks to volunteers like Abaan, with her passion and optimistic attitude, that allows SASA to keep providing accessible educational materials to educators of all levels, and help combat the downward trend of engagement with Ancient Studies. Our team will continue to work on all levels toward building an Ancient Studies community that is accessible and inclusive for all. Moreover, the support from funding bodies such as the New Jersey Council for Humanities and Critical Issues Fund from the University of North Carolina, providing us with over $25,000 of combined funding, make this all the more viable and allow SASA to continue its vital work in reversing the downward trend.


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