Heritage destruction and videogames: ethical challenges of the representation of cultural heritage

Antonio Zarandona, Adam Chapman, Darshana Jayemanne

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Representations of historical or cultural sites in videogames have always been contested by videogames scholarship, arguing that historical games often court controversy. This paper examines the history of the National and University Library in Sarajevo, particularly the destruction of the site and how it has been represented with different meanings across various media. The second part of the paper will analyze the representation of the library (post-reconstruction) in the videogame, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2’s Act 2 (called ‘Ghost of Sarajevo’), in order to raise issues about the ethical challenges of the representation of a heritage site that has not only been destroyed and reconstructed, but that it is part of a national heritage.The analysis shows that there are important pressures derived from the ways in which videogames represent heritage which has gone through a process of destruction, and how videogames adapt a historical event following formal videogame conventions. The paper concludes by pointing out the benefits of studying cases such as the National and University Library in Sarajevo, as well as new avenues of research regarding the representation of contested cultural sites in videogames.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-203
Number of pages31
JournalTransactions of the Digital Games Research Association
Issue number2
Early online date7 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2018
EventDigital Games Research Association Conference - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 2 Jul 20176 Jul 2017
Conference number: 10th


  • Cultural heritage
  • History
  • Epistemology
  • Heritage destruction
  • Representation in videogames


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  • Heritage destruction and videogames: a pervasive relation

    Zarandona, J. A. G., Chapman, A. & Jayemanne, D., 2 Jul 2017, Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference. Vol. 14. 14 p. (DIGRA conference proceedings; vol. 14, no. 1).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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