Popular history in print
DOI link for Popular history in print
Popular history in print book
This chapter develops the motif of re-enactment with a consideration of how historical experience is enacted in some contemporary computer games. Initially such games seem to offer an empowerment but this seems ambivalent at best and illusory at worst. The chapter looks at the experience of history in a range of other games, and considers the ludic historiographic possibilities that the past creates. First-person shooters (FPS), or point of view games, present a particular type of visualised historical experience. Strategy games emphasise a teleology of development whereby the player wins or loses depending on the outcome of various decisions relating to technology, economy and military strength. Civilization is a straightforward game that presents history as a series of progresses there is nothing random other than the gameplay of one's opponents and the average player can move towards success. Model-, card- and board-based wargames still flourish and with them multiple ways of envisaging, performing and mentally conceptualising historical combat.