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Education

Achievement Unlocked? – Problematising Games in History Education – Part Two

Practical and Ethical Concerns In my last post, I explained why I hesitate to wholeheartedly recommend the use of historical games for the delivery of content in formal education. In particular, I considered the potential for overlapping biases, which can influence the research discourse surrounding games and learning. I also explored the potentially troubling dominance […]

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Education

Achievement Unlocked? – Problematising Games in History Education – Part One

Playing with Pedagogies Studying history in games often involves moving between diverse academic fields, regularly finding oneself amongst scholars from literary studies, film studies, media studies, educational sciences, psychology, and of course those from the more conventional sections of archaeology and history. Many of these scholars will be encountering the field of historical (or vanilla) […]

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Education

Education, History, Games: Reading, Playing & Other Resources

Apologies for the long delay! It seems like an age since we posted and somehow it’s now March! At HGN we initially paused content in solidarity with the strike action taken by University staff across the UK. HGN decided not to post new content and cross the digital picket. This strike action continues and we […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Recording: HGN Panel on “Post Colonialism” (December 2021)

Just a quick post to recap on our third HGN event, for our (Post) Colonialism theme, that took place on 15 December. We were pleased that the panellists and the audience, generated a fascinating discussion and raised lots of thought-provoking questions. In case you missed this, or would like to watch it again, you can […]

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Education

Gestapo (1976) and Rosenstrasse (2022): Challenges and lessons for Holocaust-themed TRPGs

The discourse surrounding Holocaust-based simulation exercises and games underscores pedagogical and moral possibilities and limitations for educators or designers. Holocaust simulations are viewed as an outlet for participants to emotionally and psychologically engage with the past. Holocaust-themed exercises invite participants to experience victimhood, complicity, lack of agency, and loss. From Ron Jones’ Third Wave experiment […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Searching for Post-Colonialism in Civilization

At this point, it’s not hard to understand the colonial viewpoint fundamental to the ideology of the Civilization series. There have been plenty of articles dissecting such things as the tech tree, the love of explosive growth and war, the great man theory embedded in the game, and the colonial philosophies that each of these […]

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(Post) Colonialism

Venturing Off the Map to the “Ile of Divels”

The British Library established a Digital Scholarship department in 2010. Its purpose was to explore and promote innovative and creative reuse, as well as computational and data-driven research using the Library’s data and digital collections – both the digitised analogue collections and increasingly, born-digital material. I was one of the founding members of the initial […]

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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 […]