Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Streaming the Past

Watch and talk along with today’s science of the past during weekly Let’s Plays of popular games and vodcasts on the livestream platform Twitch.

2021 - 2022
Angus Mol

Hop in your digital time machine! Students and researchers of Leiden University will take you back to the past in Streaming the Past. 

Caption: Aris Politopoulos, Angus Mol, and Thijs Porck explore Sutton Hoo in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla

Project description

Streaming the Past explores how researchers can share knowledge about the past via a new and unique form of science communication: livestreaming. A diverse team of students and researchers will produce Let’s Plays and Vodcasts for the immensely popular livestream platform Twitch. 

From the Streaming the Past studio our Let’s Plays will air on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Leiden students play a variety of games taking place in the past, ranging from the dawn of civilization to recent history, and discuss these with experts from Leiden University and beyond as well as with viewers via the chat!

All of this will take place on Twitch.tv. On Twitch more than 25 million people daily watch livestreams about games and other aspects of contemporary (digital) culture. Streaming the Past is designed out to reach out to this group of, mostly young, global citizens, by offering them something new: a fun and engaging channel where you will also learn something about our shared human history and heritage. 

Through a partnership with the VALUE Foundation, Leiden University is the first university worldwide with an active presence on Twitch. During this pilot-project the impact of this new form of science communication will be monitored closely. Any lessons learned will be shared by a workshop at the end of this project, where graduate students and early career researchers will discuss and learn about this and other cutting edge forms of science communication on digital platforms.

Bi-weekly on a Friday our project members will present The Week’s Past Vodcast, where we will discuss the news of the science and popular culture dealing with the past. Every vodcast will feature a new expert guest who will tell us all about their research.

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