Histoire publique

Unravelling twentieth century Swiss video game heritage: an interdisciplinary research

22 Février 2023

Unravelling twentieth century Swiss video game heritage: an interdisciplinary research

Screenshot from GNU GPL game, GLtron. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hands on History talk with Yannick Rochat, University of Lausanne.

This conference will present current research on video game heritage in Switzerland, implying two research projects, Pixelvetica (2021-2022) and Confederatio Ludens (2023-2027). Pixelvetica provided a report on the current state of preservation in Switzerland, including guidelines aimed at politicians, heritage institutions, or game developers. We will present and discuss the conclusions from this report. Confederatio Ludens, a joint project of four universities (HKB, UNIBE, ZHdK, UNIL), will start in February 2023 and addresses a gap in the understanding of the Swiss video game industry and its cultural impact in the 20th Century. This project draws on existing research and will present and discuss the methodological challenges we are facing, for example in terms of oral history (many key actors are still alive), analysis of source code, and digital archiving. The talk will also introduce the field of game studies and its importance in understanding the broader cultural and societal context of video games.

Yannick Rochat is a professor assistant in game studies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (Department of Language and Information Sciences, Faculty of Arts). His research activities are dedicated to the study of video game and computer heritage in Switzerland as well as the use of video games for teaching. He borrows from digital humanities and mathematics for his research and teaching.


Wednesday, 22 February 2023

14.00- 15.00