Re-entangling Science and Technology

Mar 26, 20 Civ V Tesla Coil

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As I discussed in my previous article, the idea that there is a direct, linear relationship between science and technology, also known as the “assembly line” model favored by policymakers (Kline, 1995), though often taken for granted in videogame mechanics, doesn’t stand up to even a passing glance at history. Of...

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Disentangling Science and Technology

Feb 04, 20 Wise Men Discovere Engineering

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Science is a fairly significant element in strategy games. Some, like Civilization, even feature a “Science Victory” as one means of winning, making science not just a means to an end, but an end in itself. In pretty much any game with a central tech tree mechanic, investing in science is a fairly solid strategy. ...

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Better Folklore through Alchemy

Nov 08, 12 Better Folklore through Alchemy

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For my birthday this past October, my girlfriend bought me a copy of Skyrim for XBox.  For those not familiar, Skyrim is the latest installment of the ‘Elder Scrolls’ series of open-world role playing games set in a Dungeons and Dragons-informed mythic backdrop.  It’s a standard RPG, where the player...

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The New Science: Playing the Scientific Revolution

Sep 27, 12

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I was very excited to see The New Science from Conquistador Games on Kickstarter. Not only does it look like a really cool game, it is also a neat model of the history of the scientific revolution. One of the creators, Dirk Knemeyer, was kind enough to sit down with me to chat about the project. Trevor: Could you briefly explain...

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Science Grows On Trees: The History of Science and Technology According to Video Games

Oct 13, 10 Science Grows On Trees: The History of Science and Technology According to Video Games

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I think historians and sociologists of science might be surprised to learn that video game designers spend a considerable amount of time and energy building playable models of the history of science and technology. In game design circles these systems are commonly referred to as “Technology Trees“. Below is an example of...

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