Digital technologies, in the form of modelling buildings, people, and their activities, are becoming a popular vehicle for the re-creation and dissemination of cultural heritage. Together with video game engines, they can be used to let users virtually “inhabit” the digitally recreated worlds. Yet, like every medium ever used to preserve cultural heritage, digital media is not neutral: perhaps more than any older technology, it has the potential to affect the very meaning of the represented content in terms of the cultural image it creates. This paper examines the applications and implications of digital media for the recreation and communication of cultural heritage, drawing on the lessons learned from a project that recreates the thriving jazz and blues club scene in West Oakland, California, in the 1940s and 1950s.