Congratulations to one of our 2022 grantees!
We are thrilled to fund Glaire Anderson in her project. So what is the project?
About the project:
The Barakat Trust is proud to fund Glaire Anderson and the Digital Lab for Islamic Visual Culture & Collections at the University of Edinburgh and their partnership with leading global video game publisher Ubisoft to make Islamic art and history accessible to a wide public audience in the UK and around the globe. This project serves as a significant case study for meaningful collaboration and knowledge transfer between the education, video games, and GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) sectors. The project is also supported by a CRoSS Aspect Innovation Fellowship and an Impact Acceleration Grant from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant awarded to the University of Edinburgh (grant reference ES/T50189X/1).
Funding supports two postgraduate interns in Islamic Art History (Sarah Slingluff, PhD Candidate, and Deniz Vural, MScR 2021) working with Anderson, Ubisoft, and partners to enhance the Assassin’s Creed Mirage video game (forthcoming, 2023) with academic feedback. The interns are working with Anderson to provide academic research on Islamic art and history, ensure their historically-informed interpretation in the game, and to co-create educational resources.
Academic background and experience in Islamic art, architecture, history, and museum and archival research will thus enrich gameplay, while educational resources will support inclusive cross-disciplinary education and decolonising curricula. Given that the number of unique players of Ubisoft games is estimated in the millions, this project will introduce a broad public audience to Islamic art and history through an engaging and immersive game format.
About the grantee:
Glaire Anderson is the founding leader of the Digital Lab for Islamic Visual Culture & Collections (DLIVCC) and currently Senior Lecturer in Islamic Art at the University of Edinburgh. She is an historian of medieval Islamic visual culture, with a focus on the caliphal period (c. 650-1250) and longstanding research interests in video games and immersive digital technologies. Anderson is an award-winning author whose publications include A Bridge to the Sky: The Arts of Science in the Age of ‘Abbas Ibn Firnas (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia (Ashgate, 2013), two co-edited volumes, and numerous essays on medieval Islamic art, architecture, and history. Her work has been recognised by the American Council of Learned Societies, the College Art Association, and the Society of Architectural Historians, among others, and she has served on the Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA) Executive Board. She earned her PhD at MIT in the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.
About Assassin’s Creed:
Since it first launched in 2007, the Assassin’s Creed series has sold more than 200 million games worldwide. The franchise is now established as one of the best-selling series in video game history. Recognized for having some of the richest, most engrossing storytelling in the industry, Assassin’s Creed transcends video games, branching out into numerous other entertainment media.
Ubisoft is a creator of worlds, committed to enriching players’ lives with original and memorable entertainment experiences. Ubisoft’s global teams create and develop a deep and diverse portfolio of games, featuring brands such as Assassin’s Creed®, Brawlhalla®, For Honor®, Far Cry®, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon®, Just Dance®, Rabbids®, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six®, The Crew®, Tom Clancy’s The Division®, and Watch Dogs®. Through Ubisoft Connect, players can enjoy an ecosystem of services to enhance their gaming experience, get rewards and connect with friends across platforms. With Ubisoft+, the subscription service, they can access a growing catalog of more than 100 Ubisoft games and DLC. For the 2021–22 fiscal year, Ubisoft generated net bookings of €2,129 million. To learn more, please visit: www.ubisoftgroup.com.
All image credits: Ubisoft