An Analytical Approach to Digital Historical Games: Simulation Style and Epistemology

Adam Chapman, University of Gothenburg

This presentation provides an overview of a formal analytical approach to historical games based upon five categories: simulation style and epistemology; time; space; narrative; affordances (Chapman 2016). Narrowing the focus to one of these categories, simulation styles and epistemology, the presentation discusses stylistic variations in the ludic aesthetics of historical description of digital historical games. Two categories of simulation style, the ‘realist' and ‘conceptual', are proposed and defined as a broad division in historical games. It is also argued that these simulation styles have particular connections to established epistemological approaches to the past. As such, the implications of these chosen simulation styles for the representation of history through videogames is also explored.

Chapman, A. 2016. Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice. New York: Routledge.

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