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History in Video Games: A Slightly Academic Destructoid Community Podcast


So, last week Destructoid members Kraid, Beverlynoelle, Cadtalfryn and myself got together to generally discuss history in video games. This was done to possibly be part of a project for one of my graduate seminars, but also as kind of a prototype for having a slightly more academic look at a specific gaming topic. That being said, the tone was very casual, and we didn't throw around too much fancy terminology or historical facts.

Here it is:

(The show can also be downloaded from here)

Although I had outlined several specific questions that could be talked about, the discussion ended up bouncing back and forth between various games, so the only time division I could determine is:

0:00:00 - 0:04:15: Introductions
0:04:15 - 1:39:45: Everything Else

Here's a (rough) list of some of the games/series that we talked about at some point in the discussion:

Fallout 3
Men of War(Kraid recommends for everyone to pick this hidden gem up!)
Hearts of Iron
Europa Universalis
Call of Duty series
Medal of Honor series
The Total War series
Assassin's Creed series (we talk about this a fair bit)
Oregon Trail (how can you not mention this?)
Tropico 3
Death to Spies
The Saboteur
Brothers in Arms
Darkest of Days(!)

Some of the themes/points that were brought up were:

"Hardcore" historical games (e.g. strategy games, educational games, etc.) vs. "popular" ones (e.g. FPS's, Assassin's Creed, etc.)

The "little touches" (music, art style, etc.) that developers have included in games to better connect them to the past, even in otherwise fantasy-based games like Bioshock and Fallout.

The tendency to focus on war and combat in historical games, and what alternatives are there.

The differences between focusing on historical accuracy and historical detail.

What kind of historical games we would like to be made.

Games getting people interested in history, rather than being explicitly educational.

Linear narratives vs. open exploration.

I apologize in advance for my louder voice, and tendency to talk/ramble too much. Also, this is my first attempt at hosting and recording a podcast (or even being on one, for that matter) so I'm just happy that the recording went smoothly. I hope whoever ends up listening to this enjoys the discussion, and leave any comments you have.

(P.S. Coming from this, me and Kraid are thinking about finally organizing a Canadian community podcast (hence the account for hosting the podcast being put under the tentative title, "Mapletoid"). Any fellow canucks who are interested can let me know through the comments, PM's, or my email (fencerdirk at hotmail dot com))
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About Guncannonone of us since 2:54 AM on 01.31.2009

Previous posts:

May Community Monthly Musing Recap
My expertise: Memorization, obsession and Star Fox 64 (Monthly Musing)
I suck at games: Confessions of an Item Hoarder (Monthly Musing)

Regular Articles:
Why Kinect Will Fail: The Name.
My own Listblog, but with some interesting categories.
(Relatively) Short Blog: Environment in Red Dead Redemption
Dr. Samit, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love SPORTS! (Monthly Musing)
The Airport: Last Refuge of the Arcade?
Ranking the Zelda series from my own memories
An Essay/Review of a Canadian History video game
8-bit remixes of Gundam music!
Rental Recollections: 7-7-7
Maniac Mansion: The TV Show

One Song...Many Remixes:
Volume 1: Mega Man X, Intro Stage

Video Game Mind Teasers (on hiatus until site upgrade)
Volume 15: Missing Edition
Volume 14: Touch Fuzzy Edition
Volume 13: SONIC EDITION!!!
Volume 12: Continuing Edition
Volume 11: Back to the Beginning Edition
Volume 10: Prizes Edition!
9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

My videos:
Bit Transmission!
Guile's Theme + They Live!

Community Activities:
Destructoid: A YouTube Search Story

History in Video Games: Roundtable Podcast

Personal Stuff:
Getting some classic SNES games!
Getting Mega Man Complete Works!

Deliberate Failtoid:
Why Battlefield 1943 is the worst game EVER!

Age: 23
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Profile: I'm a longtime gamer, and started playing video games during the transition from the NES to the SNES. Although I like retro games, I play mostly newer games on the 360. Still, my favourite gaming memories are from all-nighters filled with Goldeneye, Perfect Dark and Smash Bros. in the late 90s.

I'm looking for a career in public service, politics or other fields where research and writing are critical. Though, the closer it's related to games, the better.

I make videos, animated gifs, podcasts and all kinds of random stuff in my spare time. I'm also trying to develop my own gaming website (details coming eventually).

Systems: NES, Super NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo 64, Wii, Sega Genesis, Playstation 2, Xbox 360, PC, Colecovision (my dad's). Also, many other systems (including arcade) that I not emulate.

Some Favourite Games:
Retro (NES-SNES eta): Megaman 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, Sonic 3, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Robotrek, Illusion of Gaia, Megaman X, Lufia 1 and 2, Strider, Metal Slug, Twilight Zone pinball.

Retro Limbo (N64 era): Ogre Battle 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Mystical Ninja starring Goemon, Goemon's Great Adventure, Descent: Freespace.

Modern: Halo: Reach, Modern Warfare 2, Mass Effect 2, Bayonetta, Tales of Vesperia, Fallout 3, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metroid Prime 1-3, Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, Hearts of Iron II, Europa Universalis III, Civilization IV.

Xbox LIVE:GuncannonD
Steam ID:Guncannon
Mii code:Guncannon


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