Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Kevin Moberly

Committee Member

Annette Finley-Croswhite

Committee Member

Amy K. Milligan


The following is comprised of: (1) an analysis of scholarship and contemporary works regarding videogames and museums that demonstrate the theory and method behind this project, (2) research regarding an historic maritime event that will serve as the subject matter for the proposed videogame, and (3) a conclusion that summarizes the game design. The historical research at the heart of this project surrounds the SS Quanza, a steamship that in September of 1940 carried Jewish refugees from Portugal to the US and Mexico only to be faced with the possibility of a return trip to Nazi Europe. Elevating the voices of the Quanza’s refugees and their advocates exposes a lack of a maritime perspective in Holocaust studies broadly, as well as, demonstrates a popular and empathetic regard for those fleeing Nazi Europe. Comparing videogames and museum exhibitions provides invaluable insights that are new to both game studies and museum studies. This endeavor suggests that game space and exhibit space have many similarities and that museum visitors and gamers are not dissimilar. We can consider videogames to be cultural and social artifacts in the likeness of museum collections. Gamers and museum visitors are likely to be the same audience, hence the efforts of the museum world to incorporate new technologies and game-based programming. But what if videogames can offer meaningful experiences for the gamer-visitor audience outside of the museum? Ultimately this project incorporates academic research into meaningful videogame design and considers the social epistemological dimensions of videogames.