The Game Changers: Decolonizing video games

Jul 28, 20

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This is a guest post by Franki Webb. Franki holds an MA in Archaeology from University College London, and a BA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. She currently works as an archaeological consultant and researcher in London. She can be followed on her Twitter.  The misrepresentation of indigenous culture in...

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Banished: Towards a Playable Human Ecology

Feb 07, 17

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At first glance, Banished feels pretty familiar for gamers who grew up playing things like Age of Empires. You start with a small stock of supplies and a few workers standing around in the wilderness. Your task is to efficiently convert that wilderness into a late-medieval settlement. I was initially excited about Banished because...

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Colonialism, Privilege, and Meaningful Play in Dog Eat Dog

Apr 24, 13

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Game designer Liam Liwanag Burke describes Dog Eat Dog as a “fun, compelling game about colonialism and assimilation in the Pacific Islands.” That’s right – Burke created a fun roleplaying game about the inequality inherent to colonialism and its consequences. One player acts as the...

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Playing at Slavery: Modding Colonization for Authenticity

May 24, 12

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When Trevor and I started writing a series based on the 2008 version of Sid Meier’s Colonization, we knew that the issues we wanted to discuss were already controversial. Trevor’s initial post discussed the fervor with which bloggers reacted to the game’s release, and he argued that games about colonization should be offensive...

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if (!isNative()){return false;}: De-People-ing Native Peoples in Sid Meier’s Colonization

Mar 01, 12

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In a previous post I asked if the game Colonization was offensive enough. That post explored my own experience playing the game as a way to think through what the game means and what it says. As a result of that post, Rebecca Mir, an M.A. candidate at Bard Graduate Center, worked up a rather extensive paper exploring some of those...

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