12 April 2018 Start
13 March 2018 End
Spain Department of Modern and Contemporary History, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

e-mail.: [email protected]

II Conference on Historical Game Studies (UCM)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Cultural Theory and History Seminar (Department of Modern and Contemporary History, Universidad Complutense de Madrid) proudly announces the 2nd edition of its Conference on Historical Game Studies. Following the footsteps of the first edition, we want the Conference to become a space for the criticism and reflection on computer games with historical themes. The first Conference, whose excellent reception has motivated the continuation of the project, was recorded in video and can be watched on Youtube (channel: Seminario Historia y Teoría Cultura ShyTC). Additionally, thanks to the aid of the research project Collapsed Empires (HAR2015-64155-P, FEDER), this year we will have Adam Chapman, one of the most influential researchers in the historical game studies discipline, deliver a keynote speech about the current situation and future of historical games. The languages of the Conference are English and Spanish. Entrance is free of charge until seating capacity is reached.

Historical game studies as a new discipline

Although relatively young, video games constitute a powerful mass communication and consuption medium that has generated ways of representing the past which challenge traditional forms of making and consuming history. However, their content and politics of representation are still under the influence of different historiographical schools, popular history and collective memory. Furthermore, the interactive nature of games allows the exploration of historical events and processes in unprecedent ways. On the other hand, design, production and distribution pressures that characterize the industrial logics of the medium inevitably shape the historical content of the products and generate tensions between their ludic goals and authentic depictions of the past. This goes in adition to the strong ideological background of the video game as a cultural artefact. Finally, the multiple ways of consumption that emanate from different types of players and expressed in related media contribute to diversify and democratize our shared pasts. Each and one of these topics are worth the attention of researchers, who have been gathering for the last half decade under the historical game studies label. Coming from disparate areas such as History, Philosophy, and Media Studies (to cite a few examples), their different approaches have made historical game studies a truly multidisciplinar field.


April 12th (Aula 35)
Opening and Keynote Speech (9:00-10:30)
Adam Chapman (University of Gothenburg) The State of Historical Play: Games as Popular History.

Workshop 1 (11:00-13:00) Historical conflicts and videogames:

Adriaan Odendaal (Aalborg University), The “Amoral” Afrikaner as Enemy: Representation and Simulation of an Apartheid-era Trope in Triple-A Video Games.
Jan Gonzalo (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), Jugando tras el Telón de Acero: La Guerra Fría revisitada por los juegos de mesa de Europa del Este.
Sergio García Pujades (Universidad Popular de Logroño) y Pablo Aguirre Herráinz (Universidad de Zaragoza) Jugando a la guerra que acabaría con todas las guerras: análisis de las ludonarrativas y relato histórico en el videojuego Battlefield I.

Lunch break (13:00-15:00)

Workshop 2 (15:00-17:00) Historical controversies in videogames:

Lara Pérez García (Universidad del País Vasco – Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea) Episodios conflictivos de la historia a través de los videojuegos. El Terror blanco de Taiwán en Detention
Leylianne Alves Viera y Rodrigo Campanella Gonçalves Barbosa (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) Prison Island: dictadura, juegos digitales y memoria de la tortura en Brasil
Carlos Ramírez (Universidad de Sevilla), La conquista de América en los videojuegos. Relaciones de poder entre indígenas y conquistadores en The Seven Cities of Gold

April 13th (Salón de Actos)
Workshop 3 (9:00-11:00) Reception and fan production in videogames:
Michael Facius (Freie Universität Berlin) Navigating cultural space in Nioh
Karla Zavala Barreda (Aalborg University) Remixing Chicha Culture: The History of Peru’s Informal Economy and Embodiment of its Cultural Value System
Nick Webber, E. Charlotte Stevens (Birmingham City University) History, fandom and online game communities.

Workshop 4 (11:30 -13:30) Design and production of historical videogames:
Carlos López Hernando (Risin Goat Indie Game Studio) A Rite from the Stars: el uso de la arqueología y la antropología en el diseño de un videojuego.
Manuel Alejandro Cruz Martínez (University of Sussex) Investigar diseñando: el diseño de videojuegos históricos como método de investigación.
Ben Redder y Gareth Schott (University of Waikato, New Zealand) Achieving Historical Authenticity Through Ludic Expression in Titanic: Honor and Glory.

For additional information, please contact [email protected]