Critical Playing- HumLab Bytes Event

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, the first of the new HumLab Bytes events, titled “Critical Playing,” took place. The guest speaker, professor Ghislaine McDayter, presented a close analysis of the historical anecdotes found behind the games played during various periods, including ancient Europe, the Renaissance, and even the contemporary world. Professor McDayter discussed how the rules within these games mimicked the cultural values and social norms of the time, reflecting upon moral and social action and guidelines. Professor McDayter asked the audience to carefully analyze the ways in modern-day board games, such as Life and Monopoly, also reflect the modern concerns of social mobility. The event closed with a riveting discussion about the Digital Humanities (DH) project led by Professor McDayter, titled The Masquerade Project. The Masquerade Project presents a model of the cultural and social rules underpinning the participation of a masquerade ball in 18th century English society. The Masquerade Project is itself a kind of narrative-based video game in which players are presented with various scenarios, and based on their responses to each, the player either advances or loses the game. Themes of elegance, social order, and class all play an essential role in the game. The game incorporates a virtual innovation to allow players to be completely immersed in the game, hopefully leading players to “re-think the past.” To learn more about The Masquerade Project, please visit the project’s page on the DH@Bucknell website.

The Masquerade Project

This is an immersive role-playing game in which the player must take on an avatar and navigate through an eighteenth-century masquerade ball
in order to win suitors, or (if a libertine character) seduce virtuous women.

Principal Investigator

Ghislaine McDayter

Project Collaborators

Diane Jakacki (Bucknell University)
Emily Barlow (Bucknell University)
Anita Oncharoen (Bucknell University)
Lauren Ziolkowski (Bucknell University)

Project Status

Project Started: September 2017


  • Bucknell Mellon DH Grant

DH Projects at Bucknell

Here at Bucknell we have a wide range of active Digital Humanities projects. A few of these active projects include Moravian Lives, REED London Online, Rising Waters, and The Film Search Engine. To learn more about these projects and to stay updated on other developing projects, visit the DH Projects at Bucknell page on the DH@Bucknell website.

If you have a DH project of your own that you would like featured on DH@Bucknell, please contact Christian Howard-Sukhil at


Welcome to the Digital Humanities at Bucknell website! You may ask, what exactly is Digital Humanities (DH)? Digital Humanities involves a range of research and work at the juncture of digital computing and humanistic inquiry. Digital Humanities here at Bucknell aims to expand and facilitate such digital research and scholarship through its various initiatives. These initiatives include the development of faculty and student projects, a Digital Humanities minor, and tools, resources, and collaborative working spaces for those interested in learning more about DH.