Introducing the MEMENTOES games—experimental video games for empathy-building, transitional justice, and education
Release of game design documents provides behind-the-scenes look at cutting-edge approaches to historical video game design
December 1, 2023
Concepts for the three MEMENTOES video games have been released, providing insight into an experimental game design process which brings together museums and indie game developers to test the extent to which video games can be used to promote empathy, transitional justice, and education. In an age of political polarisation and exclusion, the project pilots the use of commonplace digital media as tools for peace-making and cross-cultural dialogue.
These are the first publicly available documents giving insight into the game development process of the EU-funded MEMENTOES project. The project aims to develop three video games which educate users about historical events, inducing empathy for impacted groups and drawing parallels with similar issues in the world today.
“Video games as a medium have matured very fast, thanks to new technologies which have allowed a new generation of developers to tell interactive and immersive stories. You can find games today that thoughtfully explore very serious issues, resonate with their audiences, and make you learn without noticing that you are learning. Some of these games achieve similar impacts to museums, effectively telling the stories of marginalised people, highlighting similarities to today’s societal issues, and achieving educational outcomes,” said Kostas Apostolakis, technical manager of the project. “Through the medium of video games, we can help the museums involved in MEMENTOES achieve their goals while getting their message across to more people, including audiences who cannot visit the museum in person.”
The project grows from scholarship finding that museums and certain video games deploy similar narrative techniques to connect emotionally with audiences, such as immersion and first-person perspectives, and studies which find that video games can have a lasting impact on attitudes about history. The games will be piloted in classrooms, museum exhibitions, and as standalone games on the commercial market.
MEMENTOES kicked off in October 2022 and will conclude in September 2025. The consortium includes three research institiutions, two game development organisations, and three museums. Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH) is the project coordinator and The Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) is the technical manager of the project and has undertaken the development of one of the three video games. Trilateral Research contributes to dissemination, exploitation, and ethics. The game development organisations involved in the project are Charles Games and Causa Creations Interactive Media. The museum partners are Le Bois Du Cazier, the War Childhood Museum, and Gulag.cz.
The design documents can be found here.
For questions, contact the project’s dissemination and communication manager, Amelia Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.