Zombie Code and Extra-Functional Significance

Sep 13, 11 Zombie Code and Extra-Functional Significance

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Last week a controversy erupted when a player discovered that the newly released Steam version of Dead Island contained a fragment of code with a variable named “FeministWhore.”  The developer of the zombie shooter, Techland, quickly offered an apology and explained that code was in one of the game’s...

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Platform Studies as Historical Inquiry; or, Videogames Bleed History

Aug 23, 11 Platform Studies as Historical Inquiry; or, Videogames Bleed History

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While Play the Past gravitates towards games that simulate, teach, or reimagine cultural heritage, we also consider games as cultural heritage; games are social practices and products as rich in historical value as any of the more familiar artifacts and documents we use to uncover the past. I want to highlight one way—one way...

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Documentary Evidence and Playable Space in Drama in the Delta

Jul 26, 11 Documentary Evidence and Playable Space in Drama in the Delta

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Drama in the Delta is an immersive role-playing videogame under development at the University of California, San Diego. The historical backdrop to Drama in the Delta could not be more compelling. Funded by the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities, Drama in the Delta takes the player to two Japanese American internment camps...

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Where Else Can You Read about Games and Cultural Heritage?

Jul 12, 11 Where Else Can You Read about Games and Cultural Heritage?

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While Play the Past is no doubt your favorite and most important source of smart, scholarly explorations of games and cultural heritage, we know we are not the only people writing about the intersection of meaningful play, history, and culture. I wanted to take the time in this post to highlight a few other sources of criticism,...

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A Revisionist History of JFK: Reloaded (Decoded)

Jun 07, 11 A Revisionist History of JFK: Reloaded (Decoded)

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In my previous post on Play the Past, I looked at the way critics and scholars made sense of the videogame JFK: Reloaded (Traffic, 2004). The game lets players reenact the Kennedy assassination, the goal being to match the findings of the Warren Commission Report with as much accuracy as possible. Even though the Kennedy family...

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