A playful talk series: Animal Crossing: New Digital Humanities

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What do digital humanities, the game animal crossing and twitch streaming have in common?

“Animal Crossing: New Digital Humanities” is a talk series on new topics and ideas in the field of digital humanities by scholars. Streaming on Twitch since 2020, the talks take place in the game’s virtual environment and have open discussions with the audience.

©Animal Crossing: New Digital Humanities (Graphic design and publicity Lauren Whitby)

Cultural Heritage is a big part of humanities currently undergoing a massive digital change. The virtual content growth makes it tricky to keep up to date with all the innovations and concepts. Furthermore, the virtual shift is not always well planned or designed for a specific audience, existing or new, as the “Cultural Relations in the New Normal” handbook points out. Leading to digital creations with a “build it and they’ll come” philosophy that does not apply to the online world.

The series discusses new projects, books or articles,  true to form,  within a game environment and on a predominately game streaming platform.

So far the topics have featured: 

  • Remixing the Canon: Shakespeare, Popular Culture, and the Undergraduate Editor

  • Ottoman Transkribus: Reflections on the Initial Results of HTR+ Model Training for 18th Century Ottoman Turkish Paleography!

  • East Asian Studies and the Digital Humanities in 2020

  • All your cats belong to me: IIF and Open Access Art

  • Books without Books Digitally communicating Materiality

  • Beyond hashtags: Critical Research Methods for Digital Humanities

  • Custom Design Scriptorium: Remixing Digitized Medieval Manuscripts

and more to come. . . 

(optional) Dictionary

Animal Crossing is a Nintendo Switch game where the player moves to a village inhabited by animals and partakes in their daily lives (planting, collecting items, socialising) in real-time.

Twitch is a streaming platform where gamers, creators, and many more congregate sharing their activities and engaging with their audience through a very vibrant chat.


Quinn Dombrowski is the academic technology specialist at Stanford’s division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

Liz Grumbach is the program manager for Digital Humanities and Research at Arizona State University’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics.

Our Take

Animal Crossing: New Digital Humanities is a fantastic example of how our understanding of the discipline and practice changes towards more educational and ludic experiences.  Under the humanities distinction fall archaeology, classics, cultural heritage, museology etc. that have an impression of a person reading dusty books in the back of a library, which is hardly ever the case. Digital tools for research and application are prevalent in the field and are expected to grow even further. This series helps professionals stay informed and openly invites discussion and participation from the audience. The game environment and twitch platform make the subject easily accessible to a whole new audience and filter out the misconceptions about the filed of study nature.  Furthermore, as a pc-gamer, I could not see myself playing on Nintendo switch or animal crossing though I find I want to participate!

I want to learn more:

Animal Crossing: New Digital Humanities 

Twitter Animal Crossing: New DH @ACNdigHum

Twitch channel acndighum

Website of Quinn Dombrowski

hastac Liz Grumbach

Animal Crossing

About Twitch

PS: “just shower thoughts” maybe in the future, the talks will take place in one of my favourite games, or I’ll need to find an Emulator or fundraise for a Nintendo switch.

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