When I tell adults I’m a cartographer, about 80% of the time I get a blank stare in response. It’s a fun treat when I find someone who already knows the term.
This may change with the next generation, because in video games a cartographer is a relatively common character. Today’s teenagers are growing up more familiar with the idea that a cartographer makes maps. But when they think of a cartographer based on their video game experiences, what do they see? I decided to find out. I shared my findings at NACIS 2022 in Minneapolis.
I want to be a cartographer when I grow up!
Cartographers often appear in video games, helping players gain new pieces of the world map. What are these representations teaching kids (and adults) about who cartographers are? In this talk I’ll share my analysis of the ways cartographers are represented in popular video games.