Surprise yourself by learning an alien language in Sethian

Sethian is a game that positions you as an archaeologist of the future tasked with learning an alien language. You do this so you can investigate the disappearances of people on the planet Sethian—where the language originates. Learning a whole other language might sound pretty imposing, but the creator of Sethian, Grant Kuning, has done a pretty bang-up job of making the game fairly accessible. You sit in front of an alien computer, able to ask it questions to help with your study, starting with only the basics of the language as picked up by previous archaeologists. This is provided to…

Mu Cartographer

Mu Cartographer imagines beautiful, alien archaeology

As analog technology tends to do, our old tube TV died a long and drawn-out death. In the run-up to its final croak, the knob that controlled the volume also turned it on, and in order to get it to display any picture at all, you had to slowly bring the knob to the point at which it would click on, wrench hard to the left, and then back to the right. Usually it wouldn’t work, and you’d try again. When the picture came into focus, you’d have to adjust other knobs to bring the colors into a reasonable palette and…

No Man's Sky

The future of archaeology starts with No Man’s Sky

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Destructive treasure hunters like Nathan Drake and Lara Croft tumble through decadent crypts, dismantling rare artifacts in their wake. Their scrabbling work, however incidental, is the antithesis to the careful field of archaeology. Yet, in marketing materials they’re labeled both as explorers and, yes, archaeologists. It’s for reasons like this that I’ve found myself, as a student of archaeology, increasingly disillusioned with the way videogames treat artifacts and history. The problem is that these types of games tend to disregard…