Playing with History’s Otherness. A framework for exploring historical games


DiGRA/FDG ’16 – Proceedings of the 2016 Playing With History Workshop
Dundee, Scotland: Digital Games Research Association and Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games, August, 2016
Number: 3
Volume: 13
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

In this paper, I present a provisional framework for analysing and exploring historical games based on identity/alterity theorizations. Using this approach, I situate history in different roles exploring multiple dimensions of identity/alterity. I propose an application of these dimensions to analyse how games represent historical themes and convey specific discourses. I will argue that similar frameworks that aim to deconstruct history are pertinent tools for exploring the medium’s potential as they allow deeper insights on historical representations and unveil new designing perspectives. In this sense, I use this approach to identify unique characteristics of games that could challenge specific discourses, adventuring how games can add further historical reflections, reaching creative and critical interpretations of the past. While the framework presented here requires further development, I hope this paper will encourage debate on the applicability of critical approaches as tools for the design of subversive historical games.