In an unusually redemptive reading of the widely disparaged Atari VCS game E.T. (1982), Ian Bogost observes that the game perfectly (though perhaps not intentionally) captured the essence of Spielberg’s hit movie. “It was a film about alienation, not about aliens,” Bogost writes in How to Do Things with Videogames.
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
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
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
Traffic’s 2004 JFK Reloaded is a notorious example of a videogame that attempts to engage with real cultural heritage: the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Unlike pseudo-historical games such as Civilization or Age of Empires, which evoke the signifiers of History without actual history, JFK Reloaded is rooted
In my previous post on Play the Past I introduced the idea of virtual prisons, noting that prisons appear in videogames as either spaces of confinement or spaces of control. In the first kind of game, the player tries to escape the prison. In the second kind of game, the