Preservation and Heritage at Play in Technoculture
The (Re)construction of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Assassin’s Creed
The preservation of a society's cultural heritage can be understood as a technocultural practice (Shaw, 2008). One of the ways to preserve the material and immaterial dimensions of this historical legacy, aiming at the construction of values and the attribution of meanings, is carried out through games (A. Reinhard, 2018), which have the power to expand, in an engaging way, the experience for the public. The perspective that interests us is to understand two intersections between the game Assassin's Creed: Unity and the Notre-Dame Cathedral, namely: how the game appropriates the materiality of this historical heritage and, from the fire that hit Notre-Dame in 2019, reflect how the idea of (re)construction arises from the game. In the end, we understand that this case as: a) symptomatic to apprehend the tension between the proposition of the game as a form of entertainment and its reappropriation by its preservationist power, b) potent to consider the digital game as an “archaeologically” exploitable space as it coalesces different repertoires of the player's memories and c) provoking the need for greater investments in research and development on and with practices that involve “heritage” and “media” as these dimensions appear increasingly intertwined in our technoculture.