To celebrate Day of Digital Humanities (#DayofDH2020) today, April 29, we’re sharing a piece by Dr. Aaron Mauro, an Assistant Professor with our Centre for Digital Humanities.
Digital humanities is an exciting field at the intersection of humanities research and technology. Be sure to click through to Dr. Mauro’s original post to meet researcher and Director of the Centre Dr. Jason Hawreliak and learn how he’s applied the tools from a degree in English Language and Rhetoric to interactive media.
The surprising and wonderful thing about DH is how it takes on a local flavour wherever it is practiced. The local culture of Digital Humanities in the CDH has placed a strong emphasis on interactive media, including video games, data visualization, application development, and many others. It is a distinct brand of DH that is heavily influenced by the spirit and ethos of game development culture. The CDH at Brock is housed within Faculty of Humanities and is both a research and teaching centre. If pressed to summarize the culture of the CDH, we’d have to say that collaboration is part of everything we do.
We host two academic programs, the Interactive Arts and Science and Game Design programs, both of which are generously supported through inter-departmental, inter-faulty, and even inter-institutional collaborations. Interactive Arts and Science enjoys great support from faculty across the Faculty of Humanities as well as from Brock’s own Computer Science program, within the Faculty of Mathematics and Science.
Similarly, the Game program benefits from a great partnership with Niagara College Canada, which means our students receive both a college and university diploma. This deep collaboration between our neighbouring institutions allows our students to benefit from the superb, technically intensive, training of a college environment and the broader questions and critical training of a humanities degree.
Our students are developers and storytellers. They are critics and makers. They are burgeoning creative professionals who are interested in questions of community and collaboration, but they are also having a blast while they do it!
Our labs are expertly equipped to both develop and test games. Playtesting is a critical part of the development cycle, but it is also just a lot of fun. In some ways, playtesting is the moment when the critical and technical come together most. Students are trying to break things. They see where the failures are in the code and try to make them better.