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RelicVR: A Virtual Reality Game for Active Exploration of Archaeological Relics

by   Yilin Liu, et al.
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
University of Pennsylvania

Digitalization is changing how people visit museums and explore the artifacts they house. Museums, as important educational venues outside classrooms, need to actively explore the application of digital interactive media, including games that can balance entertainment and knowledge acquisition. In this paper, we introduce RelicVR, a virtual reality (VR) game that encourages players to discover artifacts through physical interaction in a game-based approach. Players need to unearth artifacts hidden in a clod enclosure by using available tools and physical movements. The game relies on the dynamic voxel deformation technique to allow players to chip away earth covering the artifacts. We added uncertainty in the exploration process to bring it closer to how archaeological discovery happens in real life. Players do not know the shape or features of the hidden artifact and have to take away the earth gradually but strategically without hitting the artifact itself. From playtesting sessions with eight participants, we found that the uncertainty elements are conducive to their engagement and exploration experience. Overall, RelicVR is an innovative game that can improve players' learning motivation and outcomes of ancient artifacts.


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