What is DH?

For me, DH is the combination of digital technology and the humanities, using online tools to make literature and other branches of the humanities more accessible. It also offers new mediums with which to present information that formerly only existed in physical form. It allows for widespread collaboration and distribution of information, and gives people the opportunity to work together to create interactive projects that anyone can view. It involves everyone learning from different perspectives while contributing their own. The internet provides a platform for people to experiment with tools that continue to develop and advance every day.

Amanda Visconti’s article discusses how broad and difficult to define the area of DH is. She emphasizes the overlap of different fields of study and the importance of gathering a variety of opinions and experiences to improve research and project development. She also acknowledges how DH embodies open mindedness during the process of continued participation in making additions to on-going projects.

In my case, I’m focusing on how Digital Humanities combines literature and technology through video games (specifically visual novels). Visual novels are an example of taking something that could exist on paper but instead uses digital tools to create a story that exists as an interactive piece of technology. They are an example of how the format of literature has evolved over time. Although many visual novels are released by well-known developers and publishers, there is a steadily increasing amount being made by independent creators who want to share their own ideas and stories with the world, and can do so with relative ease thanks to the wide variety of available technology and information.

I want my project to be a discussion about visual novels and what they offer compared to other forms of story telling. I think that they are an excellent representation of what DH means in my realm of interest, and their existence as a form of interactive media has constructed a vibrant online community and diverse collection of games that are continuously being produced all over the world.

2 Replies to “What is DH?”

  1. I think you’re absolutely right that visual novels, in certain ways, have come to model at least some DH values. VNs attract readers from around the world, they can be made available for free by their creators, and the program files can be posted to show others what it took to create the game or for others to create mods. They also embrace the technology side of DH (i.e. not just uploading a PDF). Could VNs exist as a paper book? Sure. Would they still be as successful in creating an atmosphere or evoking feelings in the reader? Probably not. For that matter, they don’t function in quite the same way movies do either. They’re a great example of digital and humanities coming together to form something novel as opposed to stacking one thing on top of the other.

  2. Gaming and DH is a great combo! Games are yet another way to develop narrative, and video games, with their tech element, are great to think about beyond just how we interact with them. It’s great that people are taking games as cultural artifacts seriously, and DH-type projects can make your interpretation of them as artifacts, as well as their affect on culture, more interactive and approachable. It’s a lot more interesting that just writing an article about games! Your point about independent creators is a great one as well, and the indie game scene by far shares a lot of the same values as DH folks. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *