The SEGA and Microsoft History of India: The British Raj in Videogames

Mukherjee Souvik
2016 DiGRA/FDG ’16 – Proceedings of the 2016 Playing With History Workshop

This paper addresses the treatment of colonial history in videogames, particularly in empire-building strategy games such as Empire: Total War and Age of Empires 3. The aim is to address the lack of plurality in the portrayal of history in videogames and also to bring up postcolonial theory as yet another point of departure via which it is possible to explore the potential of digital games as a medium for promoting diversity and a more nuanced and representative way to think through history critically. To do so, a framework of postcolonial historiography, which has been in place in other related Humanities disciplines for decades now, has been introduced and employed to challenge historical notions that promoted an orientalist mono-narrative to describe the histories of erstwhile colonies such as India. Through the portrayal of the British Raj in videogames, this paper makes a broader point about the need to reflect postcolonial and plural voices in historical commentary in games.


On the border: pleasure of exploration and colonial mastery in Civilization III play the world

Lammes Sybille
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Games like Myst, Civilisation and Anno 1602 are centred around the virtual travelling of the gamer through unknown worlds. The voyage s/he undertakes often hinges on notions of colonialist exploration, turning the gamer into a traveller who surveys and masters unknown domains and learns to control techno-scientific principles along the way. Since such games are related to a mentality of colonialism, questions should be asked about how such games can be located in its discursive formation. This paper will shed light on these questions by analysing Civilization III and my experiences of playing this game.