The past was never forgotten, it hides itself into mythologies, ghost stories, traditions and folk arts. To revive a past could be more than displaying the fossils in a museum, could be delving back into it and making an adventure. Many game designers and artists created works that build playful and immersive context for players to be surrounded by these “dead cultures”. Through well-designed interactions and story-telling, the game could not only reintroduce the past through digital materials to the players, but also ignite an interest in these cultures and traditions.
History as a Software Update: Algorithmic Historiography and the Re-telling of Indian History in Age of Empires 2
Age of Empires 2 is perhaps one of the most well-known real-time strategy games to have emerged in the first decade of this century. What started as five engrossing campaigns soon went on to include add-ons and sequels. Despite the representation of more civilizations and ethnicities, AoE 2’s portrayal of history shows a deep-seated Western bias that keeps getting reiterated in the many DLCs and updates. This talk will develop on my earlier research on videogames and postcolonialism to illustrate how the game algorithm, with its stereotypical logic, perpetuates colonial historiography and how this is characteristic of many games that choose to portray South Asian history, culture and mythology.