Commemoration, Video Games, and Remembrance Day

Nov 11, 14 Commemoration, Video Games, and Remembrance Day

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The last time I wrote for Play the Past (unfortunately, far too long ago), I examined Valiant Hearts: The Great War as an object of remembrance and commemoration and an excellent way to understand the First World War without glorifying the conflict or understanding the war in a “top-down” view. It understood the people...

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Valiant Hearts: The Problem (and Solution) of Historical War Video Games

Jul 23, 14 Valiant Hearts: The Problem (and Solution) of Historical War Video Games

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Something that I’ve written significantly about recently is the glorification of the Second World War in video games. Games like Call of Duty 2 attempt to portray the war with a sense of realism but the final product often ends up muddled with ever-to-common tropes of heroism and sacrifice with no deeper meaning. The Second...

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Artifacts of the Past in The Last of Us

May 22, 14 Artifacts of the Past in The Last of Us

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I recently purchased The Last of Us as a small reward to myself for finishing my undergrad. I had already beaten the game last summer after borrowing the game from my friend but I couldn’t resist playing it again. First things first, THE LAST OF US SPOILERS AHEAD I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Trevor Owens...

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The Preservation of Twitch Plays Pokémon

Apr 02, 14 The Preservation of Twitch Plays Pokémon

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Writing on the history of video games is not a new field. Numerous books and website have dissected and investigated the nearly sixty years since a group of MIT students created Spacewar! in the early 1960’s. However, the recent phenomenon of Twitch Plays Pokémon (TPP) falls outside the normal realm of video game...

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Historical Infiltration of Video Game Journalism

Mar 27, 14 Historical Infiltration of Video Game Journalism

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I tweeted about this a couple nights ago but in the last couple weeks Play the Past surpassed the 200,000 all-time view mark, a huge milestone for the website. I believe that the success of this site and other sites like it are indicative of the growing interest in history in video games. In that same light, while academia has...

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