Since its founding in 2010, Play the Past has had the good fortune of hosting many enriching and far-ranging discussions on the intersection of history, cultural heritage, and games. In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we published this last November a brief account of the origins of Play the Past.
Distorted takes on indigenous culture and experience abound in games – some egregious, others more subtle. As we will see, some developers even strive to challenge colonialist assumptions; yet, many of the design and narrative choices they make remain problematic. Challenging these blinders will require a new set of game development practices, based on direct collaboration with indigenous developers.
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
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 Occupation (all of it – leaders, military, and tourists
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
Mark Sample recently posted a short talk he gave at the 2011 MLA, called “Criminal Code: The Procedural Logic of Crime in Videogames.” There is a lot in this little talk that’s worth reading. (I applaud Mark’s call for humanists to do close readings of code, something we tried to
The premise behind Colonization has been controversial since the game’s inception. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Colonization puts players in the shoes of a European power and sets them loose to colonize the Americas. Originally released in 1994 an updated version of the game was released in 2008.