The historical problem space framework (HPS) is a holistic, medium-sensitive, design-focused framework for analyzing and understanding, designing, and teaching with historical games. It is, above all, meant to focus practically on how designers craft historical games, based on an understanding that games are mathematical, interlocking, interactive (playable) systems.Continue Reading

Cards from the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game

Let’s start with the cards themselves. They work like epic formulae (e.g. the “cunning” in “cunning Odysseus”) but with game-mechanics, and with pictures, some of them lovely and some merely serviceable. In homeric epic, certain formulae — the epithets every student remembers, like podas okus “swift-footed,” periphron “thoughtful,” and polumetisContinue Reading

This is a guest post by Alvina Lai. Alvina holds an MS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute, and a BFA in Photography and BA in Creative Writing from The New School. Their writing appears in The Mary Sue, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the NYT’s “Metropolitan Diary”; allContinue Reading

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

This interview is the part two of a three-part series on teaching historical game studies at the undergraduate level, and part one of our interview with researcher Julien Bazile. In this interview, we discuss with Julien his role in co-designing the HST 287 “History, video games and gamification”  course, offered inContinue 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

Staring bewlidered at the images Notre Dame de Paris in flames, I was struck with how numb I’d become to news of the terrible. Numb. Incapable of knowing what I felt. The world’s news cameras had turned on the sad spectacle of France’s most famous cathedral overcome with churning flamesContinue Reading