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Amy Hondsmerk

Cultural and Museum Studies, Nottingham Trent University

Thesis title:

Engagement, Learning and Creative Interpretation: The Videogame in the Museum Sector

Working Title: Playing With Interpretation: The Videogame in the Museum and Heritage Sector

My thesis will critically examine the prospective role of videogames in the museum and heritage sector, focussing specifically on their potential as a medium for active and participatory interpretative practice. It will explore how videogames and museum interpretation interact with ideas of narrative/storytelling, emotion/affect, and persuasive/procedural rhetoric in order to study how videogame affordances might be able to respond to modern museum interpretive needs and innovate interpretative practice.

Research Aims:

In particular, the research will explore the following:

  • How is interpretation understood and variously undertaken within the museum and heritage sector?
  • What are the affordances of the videogame medium that could address issues in museum interpretation?
  • In which ways can videogames contribute to the museum and heritage sector’s development and design of digital tools for interpretation?

This thesis will argue:

  • That academic conceptualisations of interpretation within a museum context are limited, and that its ability to accommodate the increasing diversity of interpretative media and participatory practices is also limited.
  • That videogames and game studies has the potential to contribute significantly to a re-conceptualisation of contemporary interpretation practice.

Research Area

  • Cultural and Museum Studies
  • Heritage Management



  • Playing with Interpretation: Videogames in the Museums and Heritage Sector
    NTU Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference, Poster Presentation (02/12/2019)
  • Playing with Interpretation: Videogames in the Museums and Heritage Sector
    EmDoc 2019, Poster Presentation awarded highly commended in the best poster category (11/09/2019)
  • Playing with Interpretation: Videogames in the Museums and Heritage Sector
    2nd Global Heritage Conference, Poster Presentation (04/07/2019)
Other Talks:
  • Pandemic Placement: My Experience of Adapting a PhD during a Global Heath Crisis
    NTU Work in Progress Seminar Series (15/11/2021)

  • The Sum of its Parts
    Recorded talk for the NTU MA History course as part of a mini-module, 'Digital Humanities' (10/03/2021)
  • Videogames: An Interpretative Tool for Museums
    NTU Work in Progress Seminar Series (22/10/2020)
  • 'Nour is Busy': Procedural and Persuasive Rhetoric in Museum Interpretation
    NTU Work in Progress Seminar Series (01/07/2020)
  • Assassins Creed Origins: Discovery Tour
    DCRN Retreat 'Show and Tell' Session (10/07/2019)
  • Playing with Interpretation: The Videogame in the Museum and Heritage Sector
    NTU History and Heritage Research Seminar (20/03/2019)

Public Engagement & Impact

Placement with The National Justice Museum (Jan-Jul 2021)
  • Collaboratively designed a short videogame as part of the creative response to the museum's collection for the #NJMIngenuity project and accompanying exhibition planned for 2023!
  • Produced and ran training in the Twine software (in which the game was made) for museum staff to upskill and enable them to update / make their own games in future.

Out of the Box 'Make It Yours' Workshop

  • A 'Make it Yours' free workshop created in collaboration with the National Justice Museum for the community to engage with the museum collection in a playful enviroment, inspired by the placement game. (01/10/2021)
  • Lecturer in Museum and Heritage Studies at Nottingham Trent University
    Module Leader for 'Interpretation 2: Contemporary Narratives' 2021-2022
  • Digital Participation and Interaction: Games and Play
    Guest speaker as part of the NTU MA Museum and Heritage Development module 'Interpretation 2: Contemporary Narratives' 17/02/2021
  • Pool Juror for the GLAMi awards - MuseWeb 2021
  • M4C Research Festival 2020 - Organising Committee Member
  • Nottingham Castle Games - Fieldwork (partially cancelled due to COVID-19)

Other Research Interests

  • Playful/informal learning
  • Creative practice as research
  • Videogames
  • Digital cultures


Professional Training and Development

  • Prince2 Project Management Foundation Course and Qualification (22-24/11/2021)
  • AHRC/ESRC Careers Workshop: Beyond the PhD (18/06/2021)
  • 'Writing for a Public Audience' training by The Conversation (28/04/2021)
  • PGR Career Management for Researchers at NTU (8-29/03/2021)
  • M4C Student Advisory Forum representative for NTU (2019/2020)
  • Evaluation Training Day with Nottingham Castle for upcoming prototype testing (07/02/2020)
  • Teacher Training at NTU (27/11/19 - 17/12/2019)
  • Lifting the Lid on the Creative and Cultural Industries (16/10/2019)
CDF Involvement
  • Prince2 Project Management Training 2021 (co-applicant) - successful
  • Connecting the Pipeline (co-applicant) - successful
  • Digital Culture 2020 Conference (co-applicant) - successful
  • DCRN Academic Retreat (co-applicant) - successful
Freelance Work

The Sum of its Parts

A Twine game created to test out some of the priniciples for design emerging from my research. Presented at the M4C Research Festival 2020.

Play it on itch.io.

M4C Research Festival Poster.Screenshot 1.pngScreenshot 2.png

Misplaced - MA Twine Game

My MA research project game, based on Newstead Abbey.

Try it here!