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(Post) Colonialism

Playing Wrong: The Horse Girl Takeover of Red Dead Online

Communities of play are vast and varied. The deeply competitive speedrunning community that still surrounds Nintendo’s 1985 release Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), wherein players compete to complete the game as quickly as possible, is a deeply varied community, and the parameters of this goal differ between communities of speedrunners and […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Click to Colonise: Space, Power and History in Strategy Games (Part 2)

In part 1 of this post, I described how historical strategy games have a natural tendency to function according to colonial logics, asking players to reenact the history of colonialism in order to succeed. I argued that this because this theme has an inherent resonance with games’ frequent use of space as power and the […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Click to Colonise: Space, Power and History in Strategy Games (Part 1)

There is a rumour. A rumour that is whispered only around the academic campfires at select conferences. A legend of a time back in the misty days of yore, when there was only a handful of us poking around, searching for scraps at the base of the mountain of ideas that would one day become […]

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Education

Call for Contributions – Education!

It’s something of an open secret that increasingly, people are learning much more about the past from games than they are from “older” forms of popular history. Students of all ages develop an interest in particular periods and events by engaging with digital and analogue games of all kinds (Houghton 2016; 2021; Stirling and Wood […]

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(Post) Colonialism

HGN (Post) Colonialism Theme Event

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our (Post) Colonialism theme so far, and to everyone who has read those contributions. We’ve already seen a great run of posts, with more to come. And today, we are excited to announce our next HGN theme event, which will take place on Wednesday 15 December 2021, […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Gameplay loops and other politics: Musings on Civilization, ideology and game development

Shaping a genre Only a select few games come close to Sid Meier’s Civilization‘s fame. As with Doom or Super Mario, the name itself has been firmly committed to cultural memory. And similar to those titles, the name Civilization signifies more than just a specific game: As Doom defined First-Person-Shooters (without technically being the first), […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Making Surabaya Inferno, the strategy game of the Revolution in Surabaya, 1945

The topic of postcolonialism in Asia is directly linked to the aftermath of World War II, when many regions sought independence, like Indonesia. Nationalism in Indonesia developed from the 1910s to the 1940s, as people started to think of a future Indonesia as a single nation free from the Dutch, but these movements were suppressed […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Playing Indonesia: The (anti)-Case for Majapahit

Around six hundred years after his death, Gajah Mada, a mahapatih (prime minister) of the Majapahit kingdom, became one of the first precolonial figures that rose to prominence in early postcolonial Indonesia. His popularity continued during the Sukarno and Suharto regime, and was reinvigorated in the early 21st century by the writer Langit Kresna Hariadi through a series […]

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(Post) Colonialism Ethics

Can games question colonial lies about the Aztecs?

Today on the HGN YouTube channel, and as part of the Network’s current theme of (Post)Colonialism, we are featuring an interview between Javier Rayón (writer and director of Dream of Darkness) and Tlaxcalteca and historian Fabiola Carrillo. The interview explores ways in which historians and the games industry can collaborate to address longstanding problems of […]

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(Post) Colonialism

New Futures for the Past in Analog Games

Within games is there not a huge gap in the creation, availability, and discovery of non-western perspectives? What space do game-makers have to challenge the norms of working within a discourse of global capital, of industrial histories entwined with capital and power? Where is the gameplay that does not simply revolve around victory sought through […]