Author: Peter Christiansen

Civ V Tesla Coil

As I discussed in my previous article, the idea that there is a direct, linear relationship between science and technology, also known as the “assembly line” model favored by policymakers (Kline, 1995), though often taken for granted in videogame mechanics, doesn’t stand up to even a passing glance at history.Continue Reading

Wise Men Discovere Engineering

Science is a fairly significant element in strategy games. Some, like Civilization, even feature a “Science Victory” as one means of winning, making science not just a means to an end, but an end in itself. In pretty much any game with a central tech tree mechanic, investing in scienceContinue Reading

Traditionally, the relationship between humans and our environment has not been the most prominent aspect of historical writing. Particularly before the institutionalization of historical studies in the nineteenth century, the natural world generally took a backseat to kings, monuments, explorers, and revolutions. It usually only made the history books whenContinue Reading

This week, KUED, a local PBS station premiered a new documentary titled Battle Over Bears Ears that looks at the fight over the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah that was created by President Obama and later dismantled by President Trump.  As one might expect, the issue is muchContinue Reading

Old-Timey Castlevania

Public Memory is a concept that is intertwined with history in many different ways, so it’s no surprise that memory is a theme that has come up over and over again here on Play the Past.   Memory and videogame intersect in a number of different ways, from prompting us toContinue Reading

We live our lives immersed in numerous complex systems – systems of meaning, economic systems, information networks, large socio-technical systems, and so forth.  One of the things that make videogames interesting is that they allow us to momentarily step into a different set of systems and play with them.  WeContinue Reading