Enhancing digital heritage archives using gamified annotations

Master Thesis

2017

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University of Cape Town

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In the context of digital heritage archives, we find heritage objects having intrinsic contextual and historical information. Capturing all that information is difficult, especially if that effort is left only to the professionals or institutions responsible for those digital heritage archives. In this study, we investigate how digital heritage archives can be enhanced using an annotation framework with a focus on gamification. So far, they have been focused on the collection of information and not really on the collaborative capabilities that they could have. We look at how we can add a collaborative element to an already existing digital heritage archive and incentivise users to engage with it more. This way, the owners present their data as the fixed content of the archive and the viewers are then able to present their contributions as annotations layered on the original work. Therefore, using gamified annotations as a proposed solution, we hypothesise that gamification could play an important role in giving the participants an incentive as to why they should be engaging with the digital heritage archive as well as guiding them to contribute relevant content. Through an experimental study, we found that gamified annotations do affect the number and quality of annotations submitted. We believe a successful implementation of a gamified annotation framework should go a long way to improve viewership, sharing, learning and debate around the content of the said digital heritage archives.
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