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26 MAY 2015

A Serious Game Model for Cultural Heritage

"Serious games present a promising opportunity for learning, but the genre still lacks methodologies and tools for efficient and low-cost production, particularly for teacher and domain experts. This article gives an authoring framework that aims to provide structured support, from content design to final implementation. In particular, we have abstracted a conceptual model—the SandBox Serious Game - which relies on a generalization of task-based learning theory. The model invites players to perform cognitive tasks contextually while exploring information-rich virtual environments. We consider it particularly suited for cultural heritage entertainment applications. The model defines games that are set in realistic virtual worlds enriched with embedded educational tasks, which we have implemented as minigames. This approach simplifies the authoring work, which can easily be supported by visual authoring tools for ontology-based urban 3D modeling and implementation tasks, thus allowing an approach similar to the mind-maps concept. We propose a top-down methodology for content preparation, starting from a city- level analysis down to the single points of interest and associated tasks, which are instances of simple predefined minigame/quiz typologies. We provide examples and discuss criteria for selecting task typologies according to the authors’ cognitive targets. Finally, we discuss the results of a user test, which took place in a lab, aimed at verifying the acquisition of cultural heritage knowledge in a pleasant and engaging way. Games appear particularly suited for supporting the study of images, especially of iconography. Compared to reading text, a game forces the player to focus more strongly on problems, which favors knowledge acquisition and retention. Learning complex concepts requires an investigative attitude, which can be spurred by well-designed games. Good design involves usability, graphic appeal, appropriate content, and the presence of connections which a player must discover in the content. Players should be asked to pay attention to and reason about their whole game activity - including the relationships between the game content, the brief introduction, and concluding texts. More comprehensive tests are needed to better investigate the educational effectiveness—however, the first results are promising, especially in terms of user motivation and creation of new opportunities for learning about CH."

(Francesco Bellotti, Riccardo Berta, Alessandro De Gloria, Annamaria D’ursi, Valentina Fiore, 2012)

Bellotti, F., Berta, R., De Gloria, A., D’Ursi, A., and V. Fiore, V. 2012. A serious game model for cultural heritage. ACM J. Comput. Cult. Herit. 5, 4, Article 17 (October 2012), 27 pages. DOI=10.1145/2399180.2399185


20123D modelling • Alessandro De Gloria • Annamaria D ursi • authoring framework • city-level analysis • cognitive targets • cognitive tasks • conceptual model • content connections • content design • content preparation • cultural heritage knowledge • discovering and exploring • discovery through games • educational effectiveness • embedded educational tasks • entertainment applications • Francesco Bellotti • game authoring • game content • graphic appeal • iconography • investigative attitude • Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH) • knowledge acquisition and retention • low-cost production • minigame • points of interest • production methodologies • quiz typologies • realistic virtual worlds • Riccardo Berta • sandbox serious game • serious games • task typologies • task-based learning theory • top-down methodology • usabilityuser motivationsuser testing • Valentina Fiore • virtual environments • visual authoring tools


Simon Perkins
20 NOVEMBER 2014

The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

"Starting from the provocative premise that political and commercial regimes regard us as 'subjects of pleasure', controlling us by offering us enjoyment, director Sophie Fiennes and charismatic philosopher Slavoj Žižek repeat the formula of their 2006 collaboration, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema.

The quirky, genial Žižek employs cleverly chosen clips from a huge variety of movies – including Brazil, M*A*S*H, The Sound of Music, and Brief Encounter – to illustrate his fascinating monologue, frequently appearing on sets and in costumes which replicate scenes from the films in question. For example, dressed as a chubbier, bearded Travis Bickle, he expounds the darker subtexts of Taxi Driver's plot from within the anti–hero's grotty apartment. This entertaining approach helps to ensure that what might otherwise have been a dense, even daunting intellectual challenge is actually an engaging and unexpected delight."

(The Institute of Contemporary Arts)



2012 • A Brief Encounter (1945) • anxieties • atheism • bloodbath • Brazil (1985)capitalism • catholicism • cinematic fantasies • consumerism • critical interpretation • critique of ideology • cultural critic • cultural critique • cultural theorist • daisy-chained improvisations • desire • dissident • documentary filmenculturation • enjoyment • Ethel Sheperd • fatigues • fears • flights of fancy • hegemonic discourseheroiconography • ideological message • ideological systems • ideologies • ideology • If (1968) • impulse of capitalism • Jaws (1975) • Kinder Eggs • Lucy Von Lonkhuy • MASH (1970) • NaziNazi GermanyNazi propaganda filmsnews footageOccupy Wall Street • Ode to Joy • prevailing ideologies • promise of fulfillment • propagandapsychoanalysis • psychoanalyst • psychoanalytic critic • pursuit of enjoyment • Rammstein • readable experience • rebel • Seconds (1966) • secret message • simple pleasures • Slavoj Zizek • Slovene • Slovenian • Sophie Fiennes • Soviet Russiasubconscioussubtext • tacit understanding • Taxi Driver (1976) • The Dark Knight (2008) • The Fall of Berlin (1950) • The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) • the otherThe Perverts Guide to Ideology (2012) • The Searchers (1956) • The Sound of Music (1965)They Live (1988) • Titanic (1997) • Triumph of the Will (1935) • unconscious desires • underdog • unseen depths • villain • violent outsider • West Side Story (1961) • Zabriskie Point (1970)


Simon Perkins
16 APRIL 2007

Lakoff And Johnson's Conceptual Metaphor

"To account for the specific properties of both linguistic and visual media, an innovative approach combining linguistic and art–historical perspectives was chosen. Principles of the theory of conceptual metaphor developed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980, 1999; Lakoff, 1987, 1990, 1993; Johnson 1987, 1992, Sweetser 1987, 1990) were applied to images of grammar, collected in the iconographic tradition founded by Aby Warburg and Erwin Panofsky (1955; 1979). Lakoff and Johnson (1980) state that "our ordinary conceptual system, in terms we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature" (p. 3) and define the essence of metaphor as "understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another" (p. 5). They further posit that "meaning and value are grounded in the nature of our bodies and brains, and in our physical, social, and cultural environments" (Johnson 1992:346) and place the bodily, or sensorial perception in the centre of their theory claiming that embodied image–schemas conceptualize our experience at a non–propositional level (Johnson 1992:349). This study is based on the assumption that these image–schemas underlie both linguistic and pictorial expressions, and that our perceptual system and image–based reasoning is grounded not only in direct experience, but also conditioned by indirect experience mediated through cultural artifacts such as printed words and pictures.[1]

Johnson, Mark (1987): The Body in the Mind. The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason, Chicago.
Johnson, Mark (1992): ?Philosophical implications of cognitive semantics.?, in: Cognitive Linguistics, 3, 345–366.
Lakoff, George (1987): Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. What Categories reveal about the Mind, Chicago.
Lakoff, George (1990): ?The Invariance Hypothesis: ?Is abstract Reason based on Image–Schema???, in: Cognitive Linguistics, 1–1, 39–74.
Lakoff, George (1993): ?The contemporary theory of metaphor?, in: Ortony, Andrew (ed.), Metaphor and Thought. 2nd. ed., Cambridge, 202–251.
Lakoff, George/Johnson, Mark (1980): Metaphors we live by, Chicago.
Lakoff, George/Johnson, Mark (1999): Philosophy in the Flesh. The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought, New York.
Panofsky, Erwin (1955): Meaning in the Visual Arts, New York.
Panofsky, Erwin (1979): ?Zum Problem der Beschreibung und Inhaltsdeutung von Werken der bildenden Kunst?, in: Kaemmerling, Ekkehard (ed.): Bildende Kunst als Zeichensystem. Ikonographie und Ikonologie. Theorien–Entwicklung–Probleme, K?ln, 185–206.
Sweetser, Eve (1987): ?Metaphorical Models of Thought and Speech: a comparison of historical directions and metaphorical mappings in the two domains?, in: Aske, Jon/Beery, Natasha/Michaelis, Laura/Filip, Hana (edd.): Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley, 446–459.
Sweetser, Eve (1990): From Etymology to Pragmatics: Metaphorical and Cultural Aspects of Semantic Structure, Cambridge."
(Irene Mittelberg)



Aby Warburgconceptual metaphor • conceptual system • cultural codes • cultural environments • experienceGeorge Lakoffgrammariconography • image-based reasoning • image-schemalinguisticMark Johnsonmeaningmediationmetaphor • Mittelberg • mnemonicMnemosyne Atlas • Panofsky • perceptual system • sensorial perception • Sweetser • visual media

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