Banished: Towards a Playable Human Ecology

Feb 07, 17 Banished: Towards a Playable Human Ecology

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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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Valiant Hearts: The Problem (and Solution) of Historical War Video Games

Jul 23, 14 Valiant Hearts: The Problem (and Solution) of Historical War Video Games

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Something that I’ve written significantly about recently is the glorification of the Second World War in video games. Games like Call of Duty 2 attempt to portray the war with a sense of realism but the final product often ends up muddled with ever-to-common tropes of heroism and sacrifice with no deeper meaning. The Second...

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The Preservation of Twitch Plays Pokémon

Apr 02, 14 The Preservation of Twitch Plays Pokémon

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Writing on the history of video games is not a new field. Numerous books and website have dissected and investigated the nearly sixty years since a group of MIT students created Spacewar! in the early 1960’s. However, the recent phenomenon of Twitch Plays Pokémon (TPP) falls outside the normal realm of video game...

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Historical Infiltration of Video Game Journalism

Mar 27, 14 Historical Infiltration of Video Game Journalism

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I tweeted about this a couple nights ago but in the last couple weeks Play the Past surpassed the 200,000 all-time view mark, a huge milestone for the website. I believe that the success of this site and other sites like it are indicative of the growing interest in history in video games. In that same light, while academia has...

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The Memoirs of DayZ

Mar 19, 14 The Memoirs of DayZ

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I have taken a particular interest recently in user created histories within video games. My first post on this was on the created history of EVE Online and now I will turn to the interesting case of DayZ. DayZ was a mod for ARMA 2 (2009) and its expansion pack ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead. The mod was extremely well received and...

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