Public History, Game Communities and Historical Knowledge


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 considering history and video games, great emphasis is placed on the ways in which historical information can be encoded in game content as a route to fostering an engagement with the past, and with historical narratives. This paper proposes that more attention should be paid to the communities which form around games, and to the historical activity which arises organically within those communities, particularly those which form around persistent massively multiplayer online games. The ideas of public history can be drawn upon to understand how this historical activity functions, and how it might be valued as a form of engagement not only with the past of those playing, but with the practices of history more generally, and with historical concepts such as truth, bias and authenticity.