As a global hub for sugar refinement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Greenock is a key site where transnational histories and geographies converged around a single commodity: sugar. The trade in sugar transformed Greenock, bringing migrants into the town and connecting Scotland to the triangular trade with the West Indies and Africa.
Since embarking on the project, we have discovered that many people are not aware of the transnational history of Greenock and its unique importance in the global sugar trade. In fact, it functions as an emblematic example of the compelling interconnections between economic and social questions which are central to debates about Scotland’s past, present and future.
Our project is multidisciplinary, involving oral histories, archival research, and digital game design. Working with the McLean Museum in Greenock, we are exploring how digital games can engage Scottish audiences with the transnational history of Greenock.
Our ongoing game design and installation research aims to investigate how complex socioeconomic, demographic, and dietary patterns linked to sugar production and consumption can be conveyed through the co-design of games with stakeholders including museums, primary schools, and secondary schools.
To date we have developed two experimental game prototypes that explore the history of the sugar trade in Greenock.
Our 2016 prototype was a 2D co-operative platforming game targeted at primary age children and young teens, and focused on learning history through level progression.
Our 2017 prototype was a first-person 3D exploration game targeted at older teens and adults, and focused on learning history through examination of objects.
Dr Marisa Wilson
(University of Edinburgh)
PROJECT TEAM and PARTNER
Dr Emma Bond
(University of St Andrews)
Dr Robin Sloan
Our research involves engagement with stakeholders and exploration of archival materials and artefacts linked to Greenock's sugar industry.
Vincent Gillan, Lorraine Murray
Playtesting and co-design with a wide range of stakeholders and audiences is an important aspect of our design methodology.
DEVELOPMENT TEAM 2015-16
DEVELOPMENT TEAM 2016-17