Presence at history: Toward an expression of authentic historical content as game rules and play
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Schott, G. R., & Redder, B. (2018). Presence at history: Toward an expression of authentic historical content as game rules and play. In DiGRA ’18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message (pp. 1–11). Conference held at University of Turin, Italy.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13453
This paper seeks to address the theme of the 2018 conference by examining the significant role game developers now have in mediating our understanding and engagement with history by placing players in historical events/scenarios thick with faithfully rendered artefacts, architecture, styles, and social encounters. In doing so, we argue for a new wave of historical games in which developers are no longer merely translating established scholarly perspectives on the past, but operating as historians through their practice-led research that attempts to bridge representational learning with more direct experience by historicizing the player’s experience, gameplay, and interactions. This paper principally illustrates its argument via a range of contemporary game titles that demonstrate a proclivity for creating authentic living socio-cultural systems, game mechanics, themes, and goals that invite players to learn about the past, distinct from games that employ uchronic times, alternate histories, or simply use history as window-dressing.
© 2018 Authors & Digital Games Research Association DiGRA.