Memory must not be lost: Ethical gameplay and Ustica

Mauro Salvador, Gabriele Ferri

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Abstract

In this work, we trace and analyze some production and design choices taken during the developing of Progetto Ustica: a serious game about memory. The game tells the story of the Itavia civilian flight shot down over the
Mediterranean Sea, near the island of Ustica, on June 27th, 1980. We aim at discussing the implications of academic research in the context of a peculiar
video game production and at connecting serious and applied games with the concept of ethical gameplay. We adopt a Research through Design perspective (the first author of this study is also one of the game designers of Progetto Ustica), supported by secondary texts, such as the development blog, and “working documents” such as the concept paper and the game design document. We document the relationship between designers and key stakeholders, including the Association of the Victims’ Relatives. We also consider the historical, ethical
and moral positions adopted by the designers, their communicative intentions, and their responsibilities facing historical narrative. In conclusion, we connect
the practice of ethical and serious game design with the concepts of catastrophe and massacre, thus opening a space for dialogue between design, academic research, and civil engagement.
Translated title of the contributionMemory must not be lost: Ethical gameplay and Ustica
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationI discorsi della fine
Subtitle of host publicationCatastrofi, disastri, apocalissi
EditorsVincenzo Idone Cassone, Bruno Surace, Mattia Thibault
Place of PublicationRome
PublisherAracne
Chapter3
Pages179-190
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9788825513462
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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