In my previous post on Play the Past I introduced the idea of virtual prisons, noting that prisons appear in videogames as either spaces of confinement or spaces of control. In the first kind of game, the player tries to escape the prison. In the second kind of game, the
In my previous ‘Practical Necromancy’ post, I made the argument why we should toy with history, using the Netlogo agent based modeling environment. Let me tell you today what happened when I introduced the idea of simulating the past to my first year students. The phrase ‘digital history’ does indeed
Mark Sample recently posted a short talk he gave at the 2011 MLA, called “Criminal Code: The Procedural Logic of Crime in Videogames.” There is a lot in this little talk that’s worth reading. (I applaud Mark’s call for humanists to do close readings of code, something we tried to
My students – especially my first year students – sometimes wish for direct, first person testimony. Wouldn’t it make life easier if we could just interrogate them, read what they thought, directly? Seeing as how most of the people in question (in my classes) are Romans, this would require a
The premise behind Colonization has been controversial since the game’s inception. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Colonization puts players in the shoes of a European power and sets them loose to colonize the Americas. Originally released in 1994 an updated version of the game was released in 2008.
Over the past 5 years Firefly studios has designed two city building games, Stronghold 2 and CivCity: Rome (hereafter CC:R) that offer thoroughly engrossing gameplay while also presenting some interesting models of human behavior. As a gamer, I’m more interested in the former; as a teacher who works with simulation