Recent Posts

The Museum in Animal Crossing

May 26, 20

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This is a guest post by Alvina Lai. Alvina holds an MS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute, and a BFA in Photography and BA in Creative Writing from The New School. Their writing appears in The Mary Sue, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the NYT’s “Metropolitan Diary”; all of which can be found on...

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Re-entangling Science and Technology

Mar 26, 20 Civ V Tesla Coil

Posted by in Articles

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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Game Design as Historical Authorship: Interview with Julien Bazile, part 2

Dec 17, 19

Posted by in Articles, Interviews

This interview is the part three of a three-part series on teaching historical game studies at the undergraduate level, and the second half of our interview with Julien Bazile. In this interview, we discuss with Julien his research into Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise, the use of historical sources in game development,...

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Designing an Undergraduate Course in Historical Game Studies: Interview with Julien Bazile

Dec 12, 19

Posted by in Articles, Interviews

This interview is the part two of a three-part series on teaching historical game studies at the undergraduate level, and part one of our interview with researcher Julien Bazile. In this interview, we discuss with Julien his role in co-designing the HST 287 “History, video games and gamification”  course, offered in...

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Designing an Undergraduate Course in Historical Game Studies: Interview with Thierry Robert

Dec 10, 19

Posted by in Articles, Interviews

At Play the Past, we’ve had a long-standing interest in the intersection of history, games and education. Many of our current and legacy contributor hail from the world of education, and you can read them on as varied topics as video games and educational theory, gamification vs. game-based learning, educational design and...

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Smoggy Pasts: Strategy Games and Ecology

Jun 11, 19

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Traditionally, the relationship between humans and our environment has not been the most prominent aspect of historical writing. Particularly before the institutionalization of historical studies in the nineteenth century, the natural world generally took a backseat to kings, monuments, explorers, and revolutions. It usually only...

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