This article discusses the use of computer games in cybercartography and how computer game characteristics can enhance the design of cybercartographic products. We focus on investigating multiple perspectives through role play in a geospatial virtual environment. The ways in which literature and film support multiple perspectives can guide us in our design efforts for developing cybercatographic atlases. We explore the potential of games for presenting multiple points of view in an environmental context through the modification of an existing computer game that includes quest narratives and character interaction as well as role play. Active engagement with different characters and the environment in role-playing games encourages exploration and learning, and these interactions give a player the opportunity to discover diverse points of view and develop different ways of solving problems. Multiple points of view in cybercartography can offer a plurality of voices on critical issues. In particular, information presented in maps can stimulate ideas and encourage critical thinking. This leads us to conclude that the engaging and emotional dimensions of computer games can be combined with the multiple perspectives they offer to attract new atlas users and to provide them with a more critical perspective on geographic and environmental information.

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Department of Psychology

Dormann, C. (Claire), Caquard, S. (Sébastian), Woods, B.A. (Brigit A.), & Biddle, R. (2006). Role-playing games in cybercartography: Multiple perspectives and critical thinking. Cartographica, 41(1), 47–58. doi:10.3138/D781-R2Q5-5587-3153