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Environment

Why ‘environments’ in games are always historical: a provocation

When I think about the first ‘historical’ game that I ever played, I come up short. I didn’t play series like Age of Empires or Sid Meier’s Civilization until I was older – not because of my age, but because I didn’t have ready access to a gaming PC setup until I was in my […]

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Environment

Today’s Present is Tomorrow’s History

If there’s anything that is constant, it’s that everything changes. Cities grow, villages disappear, buildings go up and buildings get destroyed. What is old makes place for the new. Add to this the destruction of war, natural disasters, and the effects of global warming, and we can see the natural and human landscapes that surround […]

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(Post) Colonialism Environment

Is the Age of Empires II an Age of Exploiting Nature, too?

Many years later, as I face my laptop now, I remember a distant afternoon in 2002 when my cousin in college took me to discover Age of Empires II. While enjoying the old game two decades later, I noticed some issues from the perspective of environmental humanities. Different from other critical perspectives, such as feminism […]

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Environment

Mapping Game Environments: Player Cartography as History

By offering environments in which play can take place, games provide their players with resources from which they can craft their own narratives. In historical games this includes the capacity to create stories set in the spaces of the past, but players can be seen to engage in historical work in relation to a range […]

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Environment

Just Like Old Times: An Exploration into Video Game Soundtracks and Authenticity

While researching my dissertation, I came across a recent book by Andra Ivănescu, entitled Popular Music in the Nostalgia Video Game: The Way It Never Sounded (2019). It’s a very interesting read, particularly the opening chapter, which talks in depth about the BioShock franchise and how the appropriation of genres of music, along with cultural […]

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Environment

Traversing the landscapes of memory: What can exploring The Forgotten City tell us about contentious monuments and difficult pasts?

SPOILER WARNING: This blog contains key plot details from The Forgotten City. What do we do with memorials that make us uncomfortable? Recently there has been a collective reckoning with the physical reminders of contentious histories. The Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 targeted many statues and memorials with links to slavery. The question of […]

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Environment

‘It’s in the Game’ – Authenticity in EA Sports FIFA Franchise

This blogpost might feel slightly tangential to Historical Games – are sports games historical games? HGN always aimed to explore the relationship between history and games, of all kinds and broadly defined! To that end, it’s worth considering how sports games demonstrate the evolution of design and technology, how they use history and how the […]

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Environment

Paths Found and Chosen: The Environments of Played History

Of all the themes we have so far had on the HGN, this is perhaps the broadest. As we noted in our call for contributions, digital historical games clearly depend upon virtual environments that often function as representations of past ones. But all games are also themselves played within certain environments, something that often becomes […]

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Environment

Historical Environment Art Challenges: Developing Real-time Environments for Simulation Gameplay

Simulation games refer to instruction delivered via virtual experience that immerses trainees in a decision-making exercise in an artificial, and suitable, environment (Sitzmann, 2011) depending on the nature of the activity. Traditionally these types of games were developed in response to real-world activities where the audience, or hobbyist, desired the ability to explore and increase […]

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Environment

Call for Contributions – Environment!

Historical games of all kinds are made up of many components, combining  elements of gameplay, interaction, agency and challenge with modes of representation such as images, characters, narrative and space. The environments of historical games sit precisely at the intersection between gameplay and representation. In historical games, space and the environments it contains not only […]