Master's Project

Current Exposé (work in progress)

With the material turn, the field of archaeology pays more attention to things as entities that stand in close relation to the society they are created and used in. Mukerji states that “new work in materiality studies emphasizes the entanglements of people and things, and the mutual production of social worlds and material environments.” (2015, 9) Consequently, inquiry into the meaning and nature of things must be done by taking into account the social practices and structures within which they emerge. Regarding videogames, notions of materiality become problematic, however. Much of what constitutes games and what can be done with games does not seem to be material. Instead, the way that games are, is tangible through the practices involved in their creation, the way they are used, and other things, such as a TV or computer. To account for this nature of games, Reinhard (2018) employs the notion of ‘hyperobjects’ as a way of assessing the different layers that constitute and surround them. Unfortunately, Reinhard does not go into too much detail about what sits inside those hyperobjects or what this means for their ontological status. […]

Current Game Design Premise (work in progress)

The game project should serve as an illustration of how games can manifest as hyperobjects. It will consist of a Twine game as a basis, presenting a narrative about the relation of humans and things. The general premise of the game is to stand in an interrelated connection with the player – i.e. as per the model above where layers of the game contain different related object and practices that are unified through the established ontological status of games and the notion of play. This digital part will be complemented with physical artifacts that facilitate playfulness and, through interaction, create relations between the player as well as the digital part of the game. The player will take on the role of an archaeologist with the goal of engaging with the artifacts as a means of making sense of the narrative of the Twine part. Failing to understand or assemble the artifact correctly will always result in an artifact, this may, however, vary in shape depending on the efforts and practices involved in engaging with it. […]

Thesis Art and Crafts

This section is dedicated to documenting the art and crafts that I created as the physical part of my game. The point of the physical parts is to facilitate engagement with their materiality, explore their meaning and  create a relationship between the player as archaeologist, who tries to gain an understanding of the artifact at hand as well as the game as a whole. Essentially, knowledge gained from the thesis equips the player with a theoretical and practical toolbox to extract meaning from an artifact and use those insights to access further parts of the game.

This first craft is a set of stamps that refers to Bloodborne. The individual stamps can be assembled on paper into a particular mark in the game, namely Hunter’s mark. Coming to this conclusion in itself already provides the password required for a particular game session: hunter. There is, however, more than one way to assemble this. Doing further research shows that the individual parts can also spell out the word ‘blood’. Using this password provides even further insight into that game passage. The only complete rune is a reference to Beserk, which serves as a hint on what the other stamps may mean. 

This artifact showcases how players engage with the content of games and generate their own meaning through speculation and interpretation. Bloodborne is a fairly cryptic game that invites the community to engage in such practices. Here, the archaeologist is invited to do the same to gain an understanding of the artifact.

Reddit that points out the meaning



LEGO Assembly Line

In the winter semester of 2020, I participated in a on LEGO Mindstorms. The aim of the seminar was to create four individual units that would work together in sorting, processing and assembling two LEGO bricks. The Seminar was conducted in conjunction with a plastic recycling start-up and Daniele Benedettelli.

My group focused on the last piece of the assembly line: The press that pushes two LEGO bricks together. It consists of a slide and a colour detector, which activates the press once a brick slides down. It picks up the first brick and pushes it onto the second once it is in the mould. Afterwards Afterwards an attached arm removes the brick from the press.

Coding was done in MicroPython, modelling in LDraw.