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 Hashemite University



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


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.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Naif A. Haddad, Hashemite University

Department of Conservation Science

Queen Rania's Faculty of Tourism and Heritage


Addison, A. C. (2000). Emerging trends in virtual heritage. IEEE Multimedia, 7(2), 22–25.

Anderson, E. F., Mcloughlin, L., Liarokapis, F., Peters, C., Petridis, P., & De Freitas, S. (2009). Serious games in cultural heritage In M. Ashley & F. Liarokapis (Eds.), 10th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage VAST.

Arts and cultural education at school in Europe (ACESE). (2009). European Commission, published by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA P9 Eurydice), Available: reports/113EN.pdf

Ben-Ari, M. (2001). Constructivism in Computer Science Education. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 20(1), 45-73.

Bowman, B. T. (1994). Cultural Diversity and Academic Achievemen. NCREL's Urban Education Program as part of its Urban Education Monograph Series. Retrieved September 22, 2015, from

BBC (2014). Archaeology and History in Depth, Dig Deeper Quiz. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved September 12, 2015, from

Cobb, J. (2015). Play for Change. Retrieved from Jeff

Cobb, J. (2016). Mission to learn, Learning Games – 26+ to Change the World. Retrieved September 12, 2015, from

Corti, K. (2006). Games-based Learning; a serious business application. PIXE Learning Limited. Retrieved from

Christopoulos, D., Mavridis, P., Andreadis, A., & Karigiannis, J. N. (2011). Using Virtual Environments to tell the Story: “The battle of Thermopylae”. Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-GAMES), 2011 Third International Conference.

DIG: the archaeology magazine for kids. (2013). Retrieved from:

Derryberry, A., (2007). Serious games: online games for learning,

Einarsdottir, J, Dockett, S. & Perry, B. (2009). Making meaning: children's perspectives expressed through drawings. Early Child Development and Care, 179(2), 217–232.

Gaitatzes, A., Christopoulos, D., Voulgari, A., & Roussou, M. (2000). Hellenic cultural heritage through immersive virtual archaeology. In Proc. 6th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, Ogaki, Japan (pp. 57-64).

Froschauer, J., Arends, M., Goldfarb, D., & Merkl, D. (2012). A serious heritage game for art history: Design and evaluation of ThIATRO. In 18th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM), (pp. 283-290). IEEE.

Haddad, N. A. (2012). Educational Multimedia Entertainment (EME) and Childhood Heritage Awareness. In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Best Practices in World Heritage: Archaeology (pp. 873-891). Menorca, Spain.

Haddad, N. A. (2013). From Hand Survey to 3D Laser Scanning: A Discussion for the Non-Technical Experts and Users of Heritage Documentation. Conservation and management of archaeological sites, 15(2), 213–226.

Haddad, N. A., Haddad, K. A. & Sloane, P. (2012). "The Hikayat Simsim" Multimedia Edutainment project in Jordan and its Role in Early Childhood Cultural Heritage knowledge. In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Best Practices in World Heritage: Archaeology (pp. 892-908). Menorca, Spain.

Haddad, N. A. (2014). Heritage Multimedia and Children Edutainment: Assessment and Recommendations. Advances in Multimedia, 2014, Article ID 579182, 13 pages.

RockYou (2014). Hidden Objects: Gardens of Time. Retrieved January 15, 2016, from

Heeter, C. (1999). Technology Enhanced Learning white paper for the Internet 2 Sociotechnical Summit, Michigan State University Department of Telecommunication.

International Strategy For Disaster Reduction (ISDR). (2012). Stop Disasters Game. Retrieved from

Kontogianni, G., & Georgopoulos, A. (2015). Exploiting textured 3D models for developing serious games. The International Archives of the Photogrammetry Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 40-5/W7, 249-255.

Michael, A. & Chen, S. (2006). Serious games: Games that educate, train and inform. Boston: Thomson Course Technology.

Miller, A., K. (2012). An Introduction to Games Based Learning. Kinect Education. Retrieved January 15, 2012, from

National Parks Service (NPS). (2016). Archeology Program: Archaeology for Kids. Retrieved January 15, 2016,

Papagiannakis, G., Schertenleib, S., O'Kennedy, B., Arevaloâ€Poizat, M., Magnenatâ€Thalmann, N., Stoddart, A., & Thalmann, D. (2005). Mixing Virtual and Real scenes in the site of ancient Pompeii. Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, 16(1), 11-24.

Petridis, P. (2016). The Roma Nova project. Serious Games Institute. Retrieved January 15, 2016, from

Pietroni, E., & Antinucci, F. (2010). The approval of the Franciscan rule: virtual experience among the characters of Giotto's Work. In Proceedings of the 11th International conference on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (pp. 171-178). Eurographics Association.

Plowman, L., & Stephen, C. (2003). A ‘benign addition’? Research on ICT and pre-school children. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19(2), 149–164.

Prensky, M. (2001a). Digital natives, digital immigrants, Part II: Do They Really Think Differently? Retrieved from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part2.pdf

Prensky, M. (2001b). Digital natives, digital immigrants Part I. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1–6.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), (2000). NOVA Online: Search for Lost Cave People, Be an Archaeologist. Available:

Ramsey, P. G. (2008). Children's Responses to Differences. NHSA Dialog,11(4), 225–237.

Roussou, M., & Efraimoglou, D. (1999). High-end interactive media in the museum. In International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques: ACM SIGGRAPH 99 Conference abstracts and applications (Vol. 8, No. 13, pp. 59-62).

Samuelsson, I. P., & Carlsson, M. A. (2008). The Playing Learning Child: Towards a pedagogy of early childhood", Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 52(6), 623–641.

Shank, P., & Kozma, R. (2002). Learning chemistry through the use of a representation-based knowledge building environment. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 21(3), 253–279.

Smardz, K., & Smith, S. J. (2000). The Archaeology Education Handbook: Sharing the Past with Kids, Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.

Stone, P. G., & Molyneaux, B. (1994). The Presented Past: Heritage, Museums, and Education, London: Routledge.

Susi, T., Johannesson, M., & Backlund, P. (2007). Serious games: An overview. Technical Report HS- IKI -TR-07-001, pp. 1-24, University of Skövde, Sweden. Retrieved February 12, 2016, from

Thomas, B. Close, B. Donoghue, J., Squires, J., De Bondi, P., Morris, M., & Piekarski, W. (2000). ARQuake: An Outdoor/Indoor Augmented Reality First Person Application. In 4th Int'l Symposium on Wearable Computers (pp. 139–146). Atlanta, GA, USA.

Van Eck, R. (2006). Digital game-based learning: It’s not just the digital natives who are restless. EDUCAUSE review, 4(2), 16–30.

Virtual Museum Transnational Network (2011). an introduction. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Haddad, N. A. (2016). Multimedia and cultural heritage: a discussion for the community involved in children’s heritage edutainment and serious games in the 21st century. Virtual Archaeology Review, 7(14), 61–73.