The Historical Games Network (HGN) brings together academics, game makers and other cultural workers to explore the relationship between history and games, of all kinds and broadly defined. We aim to engage a diversity of perspectives, to support – and offer a platform to – new voices in the field, and to speak to a broad audience, both professional and public. We offer a supportive, thoughtful and moderated space, in which discussions focus on historical issues relevant to scholars, to the games industry and to the institutions of public history and cultural heritage.
Imagined as a meeting space for discussing and sharing ideas related to key themes and topics within the study of history and games, every quarter the HGN site will publish a series of guest contributions on a regular basis (blog posts, book reviews, literature reviews and state-of-the-field posts, game reviews, event reviews, game analysis or post-mortems, podcast recordings, video essays, or other types of creative contribution people are interested in sharing), all of which speak to a central, dedicated theme.
At the end of each quarter, the HGN will then organise an online event, such as a panel discussion bringing together speakers from academia, the games industry and the broader cultural/heritage industry, that speaks to the HGN’s quarterly theme.
For a full list of our contributors please see here.
Adam Chapman is a former senior lecturer at the University of Gothenburg currently working as an independent scholar. His research focuses on historical games, i.e. those games that in some way represent, or relate to, discourses about the past. He is the author of Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice (Routledge 2016), alongside a number of other publications exploring games as a historical form. He has been writing on the topic of historical games since 2009 and is also the founder of the Historical Game Studies Network. Adam can be contacted on Twitter at @Woodlandstaar.
Esther Wright is Lecturer in Digital History at Cardiff University. As well as teaching historical digital games, she researches and writes about video game paratexts, Rockstar Games as developer-brand and developer-historian, with a particular focus on the representation of U.S. History in games like L.A. Noire and Red Dead Redemption. Her book on Rockstar Games, American history, and the importance of incorporating digital paratexts into our analysis of historical video games was published as part of De Gruyter’s Video Games and the Humanities series in 2022. You can find her on Twitter at @EstherWrigh_.
Iain Donald is a Lecturer in Design & UX at Edinburgh Napier University. Iain gained his PhD in the field of History, an MSc in Information Systems and worked in the Games Industry prior to joining academia in 2010. His recent work examines the intersection of games, digital media and history with a focus on commemoration and memorialisation. Using game design and technology to explore collective and communal memory in communities impacted by war, the veterans who fought in them, and considers how we represent conflict in virtual worlds. You can contact him on Twitter @laddoni.
Nick Webber is Associate Professor in Media at the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University, UK. His research focuses on (video)games, cultural history and identity, and his current projects explore the historical practices of player and fan communities, and the concept of the culturally ‘British’ video game. He holds a PhD in Medieval History from the University of Birmingham. You can contact him on Twitter @DoktorNick.
British DiGRA is the UK chapter of the Digital Games Research Association, acting as an international advocate and networking platform aiming to set teaching standards and engage directly with the entertainment software industry. It seeks to promote networking between researchers, industry, policy-makers and educators; interdisciplinary connections; student support and mentoring (e.g. through student prizes, output and conferences); advocacy and visibility; and educational standards.
The Historical Games Network shall be entitled to first use of the contribution for the online platform in all the different forms, but the author remains the copyright owner and can republish their contribution without seeking the Historical Games Network’s permission.
The Historical Games Network reserve the right to decline to publish contributions, if they are submitted after the agreed deadline and without the assigned editor being informed (and agreeing to) a new submission date.
Code of Conduct & Inclusivity Policy
The Historical Games Network is committed to supporting diversity and inclusivity at HGN events, and more broadly in the field of game studies and beyond. In consequence, HGN has adopted the Britsh DiGRA safer space policy in the ongoing effort to improve the diversity and inclusivity of events and online activities. Full details can be read here.