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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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(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 […]

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(Post) Colonialism

HGN (Post) Colonialism Theme Event

Update (14 December): Unfortunately one of our panelists, Meghna Jayanth, has had to withdraw due to illness. However, we are very happy to say that experimental video game developer Nikhil Murthy has kindly agreed to step in at very short notice. Nikhil is currently working on the post-colonial 4X game Nikhil Murthy’s Syphilisation, which you […]

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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 […]