Home > Uncategorized > January 2018 History and Games Links

January 2018 History and Games Links

So many interesting things to investigate in this month’s links collections!

Historical Video Games

  • Ancient Warfare – Looks to be perhaps a combination of block-building creation (a la Minecraft) with realtime strategy/third person battles. Clearly a sandbox of sorts and equally clearly, a sketchy status as a historical game.  Ostensibly claims the ability to do WWI and WW2 battles, which undermines the whole title.  Let me know if you play with this one.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ first DLC: The Hidden Ones is out on January 23rd at Uplay
  • Attentat 1942 – Attentat 1942 (my review) was recently named a 2018 competition finalist in the IGF (Independent Games Festival) competition. It is an engaging mystery game where you, playing as a modern Czech man or woman in Prague, investigate your grandfather’s involvement in the historical assassination of Nazi Governor and Holocaust Architect. Definitely a good candidate for play in classes studying civilian life in Nazi occupied Europe (Czechoslovakia), and an good genre game for anyone interested in the topic.

  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance – CONTROVERSIAL – The premise: a historical RPG set in medieval Bohemia. As the son of a blacksmith, you witness raiders slaughter your family and friends, then begin a journey to help drive the invaders from the kingdom. Developer Daniel Vávra is a pretty controversial fellow these days in that he is openly Pro-GamerGate, apparently on the far right in his philosophies and tends to be vocal on Twitter. KC:D is also controversial in that Vávra has insisted on making everyone in the game white (though I gather, based on the great conversation in the FB Historical Game Studies Network group, that there are complex intertwinings of Czech nationalist history too). Thanks to the HGSN and especially Emil Hammar, for bringing these issues to our attention.
  • Nantucket – A strategy game with graphic novel aesthetics where the player can “Chase after Moby Dick, and live through the Golden Age of American whaling in this seafaring strategy game. Set sail around the world, manage your ship and crew, and live Ishmael’s story, the sole survivor of the Pequod, a few years after the events narrated by Herman Melville in his masterpiece.”
  • Pillars of the Earth – A point-and-click choice-based adventure based on the Ken Follett novel (a medieval historical fiction centered on the generations of an English town aspiring to build a cathedral). Since there is also a mini-series video version, could be a great way to look at Medieval reception/Medievalism in three distinct media versions of the same IP — not a very frequent opportunity.
  • Talesinger (Teaser Trailer) – I’m looking forward to reviewing this one when it comes out. “Talesinger is a narrative RPG without combat set in Iron Age Wales, for PC and consoles. As apprentice bard Gwen, explore Celtic Wales and unite tribes against the invading Romans. Use songs and tales to inspire, persuade, or shame chieftains into action. Story is your weapon.”
  • Three Kingdoms: The Last Warlord  – Turn based strategy (early access and with a 4x tag) based on conflicts in the Three Kingdoms period of China, 190-280 CE.
  • Through the Darkest of Times (Not Yet Released) – “A historical resistance strategy game taking place in Berlin during the Third Reich. Made at Saftladen Berlin by Jörg Friedrich and Sebastian Schulz. Play as the Resistance in Third Reich Berlin: Fight for freedom, weaken the regime and lead your group Through the Darkest of Times!”

Not Quite Historical Video Games and Other Important Games about our World

Games and History – Online Reviews, Commentary, and News Items

Podcasts and Youtubes

  • Game Design Roundtable #185, “Game Designer Cole Wehrle.”  A terrific episode on historical games. Cole has designed several historical board games with substantial attention to historical detail and to advancing historical arguments through game mechanics. He discusses these at length with hosts Dirk Knemeyer and David Heron. Really worth listening to for those interested in how historical games advance historical arguments.
  • Bob Whitaker, History Respawned, “History Respawned is Annoyed With Call of Duty WWII” – “Bob discusses the coverage surrounding Call of Duty WWII, and considers problems related to public memory and scholarship.”
  • Bob Whitaker, History Respawned, “Walden, a Game” – “Bob talks with Tracy Fullerton about Walden, a game. Topics include Henry David Thoreau’s life and work, historical accuracy in games, the context of life in the 1840s, civil disobedience, and bean farming.”

Courses and Student Work on History and Games

  • John Harney (Centre College) Has been teaching his Video Games and History course this term. Students have been working on historical game design projects and blogging about their experiences. You can find the blog here: Centre – History and Videogames

Games and History – Essays and Journal Articles 

  • Vinicius Marino Carvalho, “Videogames as Tools for Social Science History,” The Historian 79 (2017) 794-814 — An excellent article on the potential of video games to serve as formal models for analyzing history, and a survey of scholarship on historical videogames’ representation of the past.
  • Jeremiah McCall and Adam Chapman, Gaming the Past, “Discussion: Historical Accuracy and Historical Video Games? (Part 1)” – Adam and I have started a project where we plan to blog, dialogue style, on various issues involving the theory and mechanics of historical video games, punctuating blogs every so often with a discussion-round up podcast. This is the first installment.
  • Daniel Escandell Montiel, Storyca: Edad Media Contemporanea, “Del Cid y la zarrampla: el imaginario caballeresco español en los videojuegos” – Would that I had studied Spanish, since my research on the Roman Cavalry and Videogames would have interested perfectly with this article on the representation of Spanish cavalry in videogames.

History (Real-world) of Games

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. January 27, 2018 at 7:06 am

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