The Limits of Playing the Powerless and the Doomed in Videogames

Apr 10, 12 The Limits of Playing the Powerless and the Doomed in Videogames

Posted by in Articles

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....

read more

Platform Studies as Historical Inquiry; or, Videogames Bleed History

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

Posted by in Articles

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...

read more

Documentary Evidence and Playable Space in Drama in the Delta

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

Posted by in Articles

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...

read more

Where Else Can You Read about Games and Cultural Heritage?

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

Posted by in Articles

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,...

read more

Rebooting Counterfactual History with JFK Reloaded

May 19, 11 Rebooting Counterfactual History with JFK Reloaded

Posted by in Articles

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 soundly...

read more