Rebuilding Notre-Dame: Could A Video Game Help?
Full disclosure; I am not a gamer myself. But I was married to one for a long time, and watched him play many different games. I was always amazed at the details of some of the games he would play, especially games set in places I actually recognized, such as any of the Assassin's Creed Games. The historical structures always looked so accurate, like a great deal of attention was paid when the developers and designers were creating these virtual worlds.
Fast forward to the events of this week, when the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in France caught fire, and the world watched as this amazing piece of history was so heavily destroyed by flames. When that spire collapsed, you could almost feel the globe catch it's breath. And while the country's leaders vow to rebuild (ironically, it was in the middle of an almost 7 million dollar renovation when the structure caught fire), many are left to wonder, how? How could you possibly rebuild something hundreds of years old? All those details...
And here's where these two worlds of history and new technology could possibly converge in what could be the coolest use of video-game detail, to date. You see, one of the artists from Ubisoft, the company who created Assassin's Creed Unity, a video game set in Paris, did so much research on the details of Notre-Dame, to make the game as historically accurate as possible, that that wealth of data that she collected could very well be put to great use in the rebuilding efforts. Her name is Caroline Miousse. According to a recent article from Business Insider, her attention to detail was extensive. "That's because the cathedral is a centerpiece in 'Unity' that players can explore inside and out...She pored over photos to get the architecture just right, and worked with texture artists to make sure that each brick was as it should be."
The article points out that it is unknown at this time if the company would share these plans for use with the rebuilding effort. But I'd like to think and hope that this would be a situation where the company and the French Government would be able to come to an agreement on the importance of using such an amazing resource for good.
You can take a look at Miousse's work in the clip below.