Preparing the activity pack and practice Back in April, I was asked by the ever-awesome Dr Phil Jemmet of Hopefully Nothing Goes Boom! to help out at a public engagement shows at a Whitley Library. At the time we were both working for the same National Collaborative Outreach Programme partnership, which is normally highly targeted, so this was a chance to go for some wider, community-focussed fun stuff. He was going to put on some of his science communications presentations (which did look a lot of fun) and gave me a brief that went something along the lines of "there will be an unknown number of people of various ages, do something fun and archaeologyish with them" (definitely not verbatim). So, a free reign! I'd helped Phil out at some sessions in one of his Widening Participation schools with an adapted version of my Caerleon Roman fortress workshop, but that wouldn't have been right here, and plus I wanted to try out some fun new stuff. I quickly settled on
I've always liked playing video games but didn't ever really have a lot of them growing up. So the advent and growth of popularity of the term metroidvania didn't really mean much to me. I had Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy (quite a bit of my exposure to gaming, and especially to Nintendo gaming was in the form of their "withered technology" portables) but frankly found it very difficult as a child and never got very far with it until my recent play through on the original cartridge using my old Game Boy Advance. Oh I'd played modern era Metroid games, I loved the Metroid Prime series on the GameCube/Wii; the first, especially, captured the ethereal, lonely solitude of being the only soul standing among the ruins of past civilisations (although the mega-flies and razor grasses of the average archaeological site poses fewer dangers than the strange fauna and flora of Tallon IV). And I tried more than once to play, but hated, Metroid: Other
Just for fun. Here's a sort-of infographic of the vital statistics for my final doctoral thesis on genocide and Rome. Although, yes I know proper infographics don't usually use emoji. If any of the below doesn't render for you or looks weird, you must have bad emoji sorry.