Collaboratively edited and authored, Play the Past is dedicated to thoughtfully exploring and discussing the intersection of cultural heritage (very broadly defined) and games/meaningful play (equally broadly defined). Play the Past contributors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, domains, perspectives, and motivations (for being interested in both games and cultural heritage) – a fact which is evident in the wide variety of topics we tackle in our posts.

It is very important to note that Play the Past isn’t just about the intersection of cultural heritage and digital games, its also about non-digital games (boardgames, tabletop games, collectible card games, etc.), alternate reality games (ARGs), barely games (a term originally coined by Russel Davies – no, not the Doctor Who Russel Davies – and built upon by our very own Rob McDougall), and playful mechanics (or “gamifying” as its been recently called).

We are also very interested in exploring the spectrum of approaches to games – from the more “philosophical” (as some might call it) games studies side of things, to the more practically applied serious games/meaningful play side of things (and just about everything betwixt and between).

Inspired by Profhacker

Credit where credit is due.  One of the most important inspirations for Play the Past comes from directly ProfHacker.  You can see the fingerprints of ProfHacker all over Play the Past.  From the way we do business behind the scenes to our commenting and community policy (which is pretty much shamelessly lifted verbatim from ProfHacker).  This is no great surprise as Ethan Watrall (Play the Past’s founding editor) was in the first batch of ProfHacker writers.  In this regard, we are extremely grateful to ProfHacker – and particularly ProfHacker’s two Editors: George H. Williams (@georgeonline on Twitter) and Jason B. Jones (@jbj on Twitter).

Interested in Contributing?

Interested in contributing to Play the Past (either on a regular basis or as a “one shot” guest author)?  We’d love to hear from you.  Drop us a line here and tell us a little bit about yourself and how you might contribute.

Commenting Policy

We are committed to fostering an environment characterized by generosity, creativity, and (as corny as it might sound) kindness.  Comments on this blog are an important part of creating that environment, and this comment policy aims to communicate our values to new readers and encourage comments that will build up the online community here.

Thoughtful comments (even when–and often especially if–disagreeing) are encouraged and appreciated.

No snark allowed (see David Denby on definition of snark).  While snark certainly has its virtues, this blog provides a space for people to be inexperienced at something, or even wrong, to facilitate learning.  That’s harder to do in the face of either persistent or “drive-by” snark.

Play the Past should be a community built through regular contributions made by recognized–but not necessarily “real name”–contributors.  Some commenters’ identities reveal their real names; other commenters use pseudonyms.  Our online identities are built from our comments here and our presence–as commenters and authors–in other places on the web, in print, at conferences.  Play the Past welcomes commenters–whether anonymous, psuedonymous, or publically identified–who are committed to creating a rich and respectful dialogue.  We want commenters to be able to explore the complexities of Play the Past posts; we want commenters to inquire and debate; we want everyone to be able to learn from the conversation.

Links & images are encouraged. Gratuitous linking back to your own site is discouraged. Links in the “website” field should point only to profile pages or to personal websites.

Gravatars are strongly encouraged.