Video Games & Historians

I cannot say that I am a big gamer (or a gamer, full stop…), but even I have heard of “Sons of Rome” and other video games that are built around a historical epoch. But as this is increasingly falling into the remit of what is now known as Public History, it is perhaps not surprising that historians and “Assassin’s Creed” are now mentioned in one headline. Though having done my PhD in a department of history, I am still quietly amazed by this article:

Bob Whitaker, a historian of modern Britain at Louisiana Tech and the host of the YouTube series History Respawned, recommends Assassin’s CreedSyndicate, the entertaining new Ubisoft game set in Victorian London. He likes the way it successfully captures the feel of the British capital in the 19th century, and he particularly likes the way the game depicts the Thames River as crowded with industrial traffic. But he still has some nits to pick.

Whitaker fact-checked the game from a historian’s perspective during an interview I conducted for my podcast, Shall We Play a Game?. You can listen to the podcast here. The excerpts below have been condensed and edited.

Minor spoilers for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate follow here.

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2 thoughts on “Video Games & Historians

  1. Dear Steph,
    Assassin’s Creed is not only about historians but also about politics and the uses of the past. According to French left wing populist politician (and well read historian) Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Assassin’s Creed Unity is an anti-republican revisionist history of the French Revolution. His point basically is that the game is against the popular class.
    http://www.franceculture.fr/histoire/lhistoire-fait-date-dans-le-jeu-video
    The topic has been covered in France by serious media including France Culture and Le Monde.

    Like

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