Articles

Blog posts and articles written by Play the Past authors, and guest authors.

There is a character in Spiritfarer called the Collector, a well-dressed, finicky walrus who goes by the name of Susan. When the player first meets Susan, she describes her distaste for the collection of “junk.” Nonetheless, Susan is the in-game collections achievement tracker, and will reward the player for findingContinue Reading

The Title Screen from the game Stardew Valley

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”; allContinue Reading

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.Continue Reading

We discussed Ethan Watrall’s foundational role in The Story of Play the Past, with regards to the Play the Past website, and community. Because of the demands and responsibilities incumbent to his role as Play the Past founder and manager—not to mention his academic career—Watrall’s writerly contributions on the blogContinue Reading

Ten years ago to this day, on November 17, 2010, Ethan Watrall officially launched a new blog, “Play the Past“, dedicated to a small community of scholars and enthusiasts, seeking an on-line venue to discuss ideas about the new culture of “gaming history”. Hosted by Watrall at Michigan State University’sContinue Reading

LUNA Library Book

This article compares LUNA’s in-game library to real-world libraries and examines the influences of real-world library design in the game. I also discuss the puzzle and how it turns the player and characters into various library roles and librarian models, such as patron, reference desk librarian, and roaming librarian. Finally, Lai discuss the trope of the magical library, and how this trope allows audiences to appreciate the library as a place of mystery, as well as place of knowledge.Continue Reading