[a version of this article first appeared on GameSpy in 2007, but I thought y’all might appreciate it] “Vespasian has converted to Judaism!” The cheery message came as something of a shock. After all, Vespasian and his son Titus together were responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple
Halo’s modern warrior code, as expressed over and over in the orders given to you both by characters and by the game itself (orders like “Defend Dr. Halsey”) is to shoot those you have been told to shoot because the world must be saved. Just as the rule-based practice of the Iliad perpetuates the Iliadic warrior-code, the rule-based practice of Reach perpetuates Halo’s. . .
Of course the unexamined game can be well worth playing if the goal is simply to enjoy and recreate—though I’d wager that many players reflect actively on their experiences in games. Enjoyment should always be a primary purpose of games. When the focus shifts to simulation games and the formal
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
Jeremy Antley Jeremy Antley holds a PhD in Russian History from the University of Kansas and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. His most recent work on games and culture can be found at Real Life and First Person Scholar. Kevin Ballestrini Kevin Ballestrini teaches Latin and Mythology at the Norwich