November 2021 to August 2022

As Enterprise Fellow, what have I done?

Erik Champion background: Research Professor, UNESCO Chair, Dean, Project leader: DIGHUMLAB; Grad + Research Director


4 books

4 books

12 chapters

Past architectural work

  • Bachelor & Masters in architecture, arch history, CAD
  • Masters in Philosophy (aesthetics, art history)
  • Published in Architecture NZ on Nordic, and Ralph Erskine
  • 2019: Published book on Nordic architectural history (my speciality): Organic Design in 20th C Nordic Architecture
  • 2018 Edited book The Phenomenology of Real and Virtual Places with architects, geographers and philosophers
  • Proceedings co-chair of CAADRIA 2009, invited IJAC
  • Invited critic to architectural studios in Berkeley, Deakin and taught at Auckland School of Architecture
  • Taught Design History, Auckland School of Design, NZ College of Design, and published on postmodern architecture theory
  • Coordinator of Spatial Design Research Dissertations AUT NZ
  • Invited to review architecture essays, Venice Biennale
  • Currently editing book on Assassin's Creed for studio teaching and history (with architect academics from Granada, Spain)

Research, Teaching, Service

Research: Architectural history; virtual heritage; e-games




KEYNOTES-TALKS: Living Heritage, PHIVE, Swedish Museum of World Culture, ACM Interactive Surfaces and Space; 50th anniversary UNESCO meeting in China (16.11.22).

BOOK CHAPTERS: 12, some journal articles, papers

ICOMOS GA 2023: Digital Heritage co-chair. Mod, CACHE advisory.

GRANTS: 2022 Completing 2 ARC grants (see below, one arch. history)



ARC 1: Summerhayes collection



ARC grant 2



UniSA Research from 11/2021


  • Rethinking Virtual Places 11/2021
  • Playing With The Past 10/2022
  • Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes 12/2022
  • Assassin’s Creed: History’s Playground or a Stab in the Dark? 2023

Book Chapters: 12 (8 in press, 4 to finish)

Grants: 2022  planning 2 ARC submissions

  • Representing UniSA at MEGA CRC
  • Talks with Whyalla + Port Pirie: cultural tourism
  • Potential project: Adelaide Gaol
  • Potential linkage: Digital Humanities in a box
  • Invited to Trondheim, Munich, Reykjavik



Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes

The Real, the Virtual, and the Cinematic

Edited By Erik Champion, Christina Lee,
Jane Stadler, Robert Peaslee

Book Chapters Sent

Castles: Medieval-modding Skyrim. In R. Houghton (Ed.), Teaching the Middle Ages through Modern Games, UK: De Gruyter Oldenbourg. 24 October 2022.

Champion, E. (2022: invited). Not Quite Virtual: Techné between Text and World. In B. Mauer & A. Salter (Eds.), Reimagining the Humanities. Anderson, South Carolina, USA: Parlor Press. Chapter sent. 2022 USA summer.

Champion, E. (2022: invited). Reflective Experiences with Immersive Heritage: A Theoretical Design-Based Framework. In A. Benardou & A. M. Droumpouki (Eds.), Difficult Pasts and Immersive Experiences. London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781032060866. 21 December 2022.

Champion, E., & Hiriart, J. (2023: invited. In press). Workshopping Board Games for Space Place and Culture. In M. Lasansky & C. Randl (Eds.), Playing Place: Board Games, Architecture, Space, and Heritage. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: MIT Press.

Champion, E. M. (2023: invited). Virtual Heritage: How Could It Be Ethical?? In A. Pantazatos, T. Ireland, J. Schofield, & R. Zhang (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Heritage Ethics: Routledge.

Champion, E. (2023). Swords Sandals and Selfies: Videogame Tourism. In E. Champion, C. Lee, J. Stadler, & R. Peaslee. (Ed). (2023). Screen Tourism and Affective Landscapes. Routledge.

Champion, E. (2023: invited). Caught between a Rock and a Ludic Place: Geography for Non-Geographers via Games. Games and Geography. Germany, Springer-Nature. Chapter sent.


Teaching and Supervision

  • 2022: 4 external PhDs to completion. 1 co-supervising.
  • 1 Museums & games; (UniSA Scholarship, with S Emery, MOD)
  • Saudi Arabian educational games; (international scholarship)
  • Architecture and games (co-supervisor)
  • Virtual Heritage (?) new PhD application



  • MEGA CRC; ERA? ARC College of Experts?
  • COMMITTEES: LIEF, NCRIS; MEGA-BusDev and RP1; MOD Advisory: CACHE Macquarie
  • GRANTS/PROPOSALS: Immersive Gaming Lab; Alt. Realities Lab (and Linkages to be discussed)
  • REVIEW: PLOS ONE, Web3D; Virtual Reality Journal, Culture & Computing (HCI); ISEA. 19 NTROs reviewed

Teaching and Supervision

  • RP1: REINVENTING THE EXPERIENCE FOR ALL - Understanding what attitudes, behaviours and actions are needed to secure the identified legacies, what motivates the target audience to adopt them and how we can use technologies to embed them within the experience of the event.
  • RP2: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF EVENTS – This theme seeks to establish the policies, artificial intelligence technologies, protocols, business models, skills and infrastructure to facilitate mass connectivity of devices and ensure individual products are integrated into a total solution.
  • RP3: PROACTIVE SECURITY, SAFETY & RESILIENCE - Understanding the new physical and cyber security environment for mass deployment of devices, how to test products in that environment, and how to integrate personal security with national security.
  • ​RP4: PERSONALISED, OPTIMISED AND SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS – Understanding how to move goods and people around events (both internal and external to the event).  It will need to consider the individual needs of all stakeholders and be able to facilitate mass customisation of the experience and democratise accessibility.

  Interests:  “Meaningful” interaction in virtual 3D environments  

  1. Teaching architectural history via a game engine
  2. Using XR to augment physical surroundings and not just visually (VR, AR, sensors, sound, smell, haptics-touch)-multimodal ways of communicating space and place
  3. Engaging people to engage issues by them designing (so they reflect on issues)
  4. Clarify architectural history (my area was Nordic) and theory terms (philosophy)
  5. Spatial and immersive Digital Humanities: the importance of visualization and immersive literacy (know how people perceive in VR and how to design for their perceived affordances)
  6. Improving the links between text, maps, panoramas and 3D

Developed for env vis on large vis displays

Unreal on a curved game screen (summer intern project)

Touchscreen Taoism
(Flash, ChiNZ student award)

Opportunities: geospatial, history, architecture

My PhD student Ikrom created a 3D model/GIS database: draw around 3D objects and dynamically change the geodata.

Data + 3D Models on DBpedia (database for Wikipedia) dynamically linked at component level using Linked Open Data.

is there money in gaming?

  • 2021: $300 billion USD worldwide [accenture] with 2.7 billion gamers
  • Microsoft most valuable “game” company 1.99 trillion, Tencent 400 billion, Sony 100 billion, Unity 13.29 billion, Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed) 5.39 billion, Epic (Unreal) raises 2 billion [companiesmarketcap] and says its value is 31.5 billion [Epic]
  • “Australia is home to a growing games industry. In 2021, the sector contributed $226.5million in revenue, an increase of 22 per cent on 2020, and 83 per cent of revenue is from overseas markets.” [DFAT]
  • 2014: Microsoft bought Minecraft for approx. 2.5 billion [slashgear]
  • 2021: Unity bought Weta Digital [NZ] for 1.65 billion [awn]
  • 2021: Facebook spent 10 billion on the Metaverse [yahoo]
  • 2022: Microsoft buys Activision for 68.7 billion USD [afr]

When Reality Gets in the Way  

Zuckerberg previously told tech podcaster Lex Fridman: “A lot of people think that the metaverse is about a place, but one definition of this is it’s about a time when basically immersive digital worlds become the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time.”

He added: “I think that’s a reasonable construct.”

My counter take, we need to democratize the tools, content and pipeline to the Metaverse (see Tim Sweeny-Epic games, interview)

Demand for AR and VR headsets nearly tripled in one year: The Oculus Quest 2 (Facebook owns) dominated the market with 75% share.

  • Economic opportunity: provide more choice, encourage competition, maintain a thriving digital economy
  • Privacy: minimize the amount of data used, build technology enabling privacy-protective data uses, afford transparency and control over data
  • Safety and integrity: keep people safe online, provide tools to act or get help for anything they’re not comfortable with
  • Equity and inclusion: ensure technologies are designed inclusively and accessible



By Erik Champion


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