Gaming

Texas A&M Develops Art History Video Game

Faculty and students at Texas A&M University have created a video game designed to supplement a college-level art history course.

Students and faculty from the university's Learning Interactive Visualizations Experience (LIVE) Lab conceived the game and initiated its development under the leadership of André Thomas, a lecturer in the Department of Visualization. After the game was tested at Texas A&M, Triseum, a game development company also led by Thomas, prepared the game for release to other universities. Triseum employs current students and graduates from the Department of Visualization.

The game, called ARTé: Mecenas, is designed to teach "the interconnectedness of local and international economies in Renaissance Italy," and "how those economies influenced art and art patronage," according to information on Triseum's site. Students take on the role of a member of the Medici family, which was influential in the development of Renaissance art. The objective of the game is to build and maintain a financial empire to level up the player's character "to the status of 'Mecenas,' an influential patron of the arts, and experience the political, social and economic factors that shaped the era."

ARTé: Mecenas is the first in a planned suite of games by Triseum. The company is currently developing another game called Variant, which is designed to transform abstract calculus concepts into concrete gaming experiences for college-level students.

Further information about ARTé: Mecenas and Variant can be found on Triseum's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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