Stories from the Frontier

Linking Past and Present at Vindolanda through Digital Gameplay

‘Stories from the Frontier’  is an Arts Council England (ACE) and Roman Research Trust funded project that will change how visitors engage with the ancient world at the Roman site of Vindolanda, Hadrian’s Wall. The project is a game for smart phones and tablets that breaks down the formalised presentation of material culture and transfers knowledge through gameplay. It builds on the latest research by Newcastle University and the Vindolanda Trust on Roman Britain as well as the use of ‘serious gaming’ by the Heritage sector. Aimed at Key Stage 2 students (7-11) and their families, the game tells the stories of real people and objects from Vindolanda in a fun and innovative way. Users play ‘detective’ to solve what happened to a skeleton discovered in the army Barracks at Vindolanda in 2009, and the game uses 2D, hand-drawn animation in a comic-book style to recreate the site of Vindolanda from c.230AD. The game will be free to download on site and will be supplemented by a 25-page book, containing artwork from the game along with additional puzzles and activities, which can be bought at low cost at Vindolanda. This book offers support for schools teaching Roman Britain at Key Stage 2. 

Project Leader: Claire Stocks (HCA)

Other Staff / Project Team: Barbara Birley (Vindolanda Trust), Andrew Birley (Vindolanda Trust), Rob Collins (HCA), Graham Morgan (GameLab, NU Computer Sciences), Gary Ushaw (GameLab, NU Computer Sciences), Rich Davison (GameLab, NU Compiter Sciences)

Sponsors: Newcastle University, The Vindolanda Trust, Arts Council England, the Roman Research Trust

Partners: The Vindolanda Trust

Project Dates: 2017 - ongoing