GAMING enthusiasts from around the world have backed a new project to bring medieval Aberdeen to life.

Inspired by the thriving interest in the period thanks to the success of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and other creative media influenced by medieval life in Europe, historians at the University of Aberdeen launched an ambitious plan to create a new video game based on the city’s world-famous Burgh Records. Their Kickstarter campaign to bring alive the stories and characters contained within the thousands of pages of the documents, which are recognised by Unesco for their historical importance, launched on November 26.

It attracted interest from around the world, surpassing 50% of its target within just two days.

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The Burgh Records, including the earliest council registers covering the period 1398–1511, are uniquely placed to offer insights into how the city’s residents dealt with the threat of the plague – and it is from this that the game draws its title, Strange Sickness. It will allow players to immerse themselves in Aberdeen’s history, interact with characters from medieval society and make decisions which will shape their own story.

All profits from sales of the game, once built, will support the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust.

Dr William Hepburn, a historical research fellow at the University of Aberdeen who is leading the crowd-funding campaign, says the response so far has been extraordinary, enabling them to add further goals to enhance the project. Dr Jackson Armstrong, who leads the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project and is co-producing the game with Dr Hepburn, said the generous response from so many to back the project has been “thrilling”.

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