Multimedia and cultural heritage: a discussion for the community involved in children's heritage edutainment and serious games in the 21st century

Naif A. Haddad

Abstract

Unfortunately, heritage education and awareness remains largely undervalued, as most efforts rely on in-person experiences in formal cultural institutions. While there have been many virtual applications in the field of heritage edutainment with multimedia technology, there are still not enough to make the required and hoped-for change for the children of the digital natives’ generation. However, with the rich resources in 3D imaging and interactive programming already at our disposal, we are well prepared to do so, given a coordinated effort. This paper deals with a key topic that has an importance at the international level: the education of children through the conceptual approach of "edutainment" and "serious games" and particularly focuses on the cultural heritage, considering its tangible and intangible aspects. The paper attempts to clarify, explore and investigate how heritage edutainment multimedia, which bring enjoyment, fun, play and discovery into children’s daily lives, can make a significant contribution to their understanding, curiosity and appreciation of the cultural heritage. The paper also proposes some ideas and storylines for project development, especially for a methodological approach to serious games, which if appropriately planned, can be as entertaining as they are intellectually challenging to young children. Taking into consideration that there is a growing body of research on the effectiveness of online serious games as creative learning tools, this can only be achieved by the collaboration of a multidisciplinary pedagogical, technical and creative team, to encourage children and parents to look, explore and care for the wonders of our cultural heritage.


Keywords

edutainment multimedia; childhood appreciation; serious games; communication technologies; interactive virtual reality; digital natives

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