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Game Cultures and the Constitution of the Accurate

Conference contribution
Authors Adam Chapman
Published in Paper presented at the Middle Ages in the Modern World conference, University of Manchester, UK, July 2017.
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Subject categories Media and Communications, History and Archaeology


Due to increasing recognition of games as a popular contemporary vehicle for the construction and dissemination of historical representations, academic attention on historical games has seen a significant increase in the past decade. However, whilst historical game studies has paid a significant amount of attention to historical games themselves, less time has been spent considering the ways in which history is also constituted by game cultures and player communities. This paper argues that discussions of concepts such as historical accuracy must also be partly grounded in the communities of practice and the (often unspoken) discourses of games culture. This idea is explored by examining two distinct phenomena. Firstly, the paper explores the ‘modding’ (modification) of games with medieval settings, outlining the differing concerns and discussions surrounding the concepts of ‘accuracy’ that frequently motivate these mods. Secondly, the paper explores the linking of suffering and authenticity implicit in the discourses of games culture and media, which surround the playing of historical games. In doing so, the paper hopes to point to both the benefits of expanding the conventional focus of historical game studies and to highlight some of the ways in which, though a relatively new form of history, games have already become weaved into complex networks of historical exchange.

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