MAMG20 Proceedings

Page 1

The Middle Ages in Modern Games: Conference Proceedings Vol. 1

2020 @MidAgesModGames #MAMG20
The Public Medievalist Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Research, University of Winchester

Opening Statement...........................................................................................................................................................1

Medieval Source Material for Games 2

‘“You can't stand the sight of a strong Norse woman?” 2

‘The Troll of High Hrothgar: Ludic pacing and Norse medievalism in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’ 3 ‘The Warble of a Smitten Knight. Tournament game mechanics and courtly culture in “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Blood and Wine”’..........................................................................................................................................................4

Writing History through Game Mechanics .......................................................................................................................5

‘Playing Princes and Popes: Mapping the Dynamics of Power in Medieval Strategy Games’ 5

‘Medievalist mechanics: digital humanities and game design’ from 6 ‘Digital Feudalism: The Historical Problem Spaces of Rulership in Three Medieval Videogames’ 7 Re enacting and Recreating the Middle Ages...................................................................................................................8

‘Bringing History to life, or life to History? Videogames as digital Historical Re enactment’ ......................................8

‘Playing with Medieval Drama Soundscapes: evocation, recreation and artistic practice’..........................................9

‘Hearing Problems: Sounding Medieval in Video Games’ 10 Historical Accuracy and Authenticity 11

‘When authenticity calls: Debates about identity and history inside gaming culture’ 11

‘Medieval Strategy Videogames: The tenuous balance between historical representation and playability’ 12 Games for Education and Research I..............................................................................................................................13

‘Playing with things: Representing Medieval Material Culture through Video games’ .............................................13

‘Rosemary RPG as a study proposal for the history teaching of the Hundred Years’ War’ 14

‘“Akritas” : Playing at Byzantine Borders’ 15 Games for Education and Research II 16

‘Gameplay Data Mining of an Open World Viking Age Learning Game’ 16

‘"The Triumphs of Turlough": a scholarly videogame about Medieval Ireland’ 17

‘“Losing is Fun”: Asymmetric Rules and Play for Teaching and Research’ .................................................................19 Medievalist and Gaming Tropes .....................................................................................................................................20

‘Of Knights and Princesses: Gender Roles in “Medieval” Computer Gaming’ 20

‘The Place of Periodisation: Strategy Games and the management of Medieval ‘Ages’’ 21

‘The Idealized Vision of Medieval Society through the Classes of Characters present in Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition’ 22

Gender in Medieval Videogames....................................................................................................................................23

‘She's a Card: Gender and Identity in Reigns: Her Majesty’ .......................................................................................23

‘“Is the next king of the land this little girl?”: The Representation of Medieval Women in East Asian Dating simulations’ 24

‘From virgins and victims to heroines and heretics: Fantasy as a tool for female empowerment in contemporary medieval roleplay games’ 25

ii Contents

‘When Chinese gamers encounter Crusader Kings II’.................................................................................................26

‘"Promoting our History": Representations of the Past in Kingdom Come: Deliverance’..........................................27

Magic, Medicine, and Religion 28

‘“I have seen the throne of the gods, and it was empty”: Approximations of Religious Thought and Practice in Medievalist Games’ 28

‘Eternal Youth and the Fight Against Death: What A Plague Tale: Innocence and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Teach Us About (Im)Mortality’..............................................................................................................................................29

‘Medievalisms, Magic, and Macula: Encountering the medieval and the modern in Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Innocence’ 30

Playing The Crusades 31

‘Crusading Icons: Tropes of Crusader Authenticity in Digital Games’ ........................................................................31

‘I'm not responsible for the man you are! Crusading and Masculinities in Dante's Inferno’.....................................32

‘A New Knights Templar for the New Apocalypse: The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4’ .......................................33 Closing Address...............................................................................................................................................................34

iii Medieval Games Beyond Western Europe.....................................................................................................................26

Opening Statement

Robert Houghton, University of Winchester. @robehoughton

1 #MAMG20 Welcome to The Middle Ages in Modern Games Twitter conference! We’ve got 33 speakers over the next four days addressing topics as diverse as the crusades in sci fi, ludic theory, and medieval sound design across games including Skyrim, @reignsgame and D&D.

2 #MAMG20 We’re sponsored by @CMRR_Winchester and @PublicMedieval. You can see all the great work they’re doing on the Middle Ages and Medievalism here:; and here:

3 #MAMG20 We need to talk about games. Games can engage their audience with history. They are used for teaching and research. They have huge potential, but carry significant problems in how they represent the past and how this influences the present.

4 #MAMG20 Modern games which address the Middle Ages are even more important. They hold particular influence over their players. They are subject not only to gaming tropes but also to all the issues of modern medievalism.

5 #MAMG20 Many of our papers engage with gender, race, and religious identities in games places where the confluence of gaming and medievalism often has most effect. Others explore the conflict over ‘accuracy’ and the socio political purposes behind it.

6 #MAMG20 We have sessions on the practical issues of creating the Middle Ages through games; games for teaching and research; and numerous deep dives into explorations of this period within specific games. We hope there is something to interest you.

7 #MAMG20 This conference is the child of two strands scheduled for @TheMamoConf and @IMC_Leeds this year. For eminently sensible reasons, these conferences were cancelled although Leeds has a substantial timetable of online papers next week (including four from our strand).

8 #MAMG20 We will return to @TheMamoConf and @IMC_Leeds next year, but wanted to get as many papers as possible delivered in some format. This is a young and fast moving field and we’ve got a lot of really innovative and important contributions.

9 #MAMG20 We’ve followed the model set out by @stuffofwar to organise a Twitter conference. Special thanks go to @laurasharrison for her help and advice in setting this up. You can check out the War Through Other Stuff website here:

10 #MAMG20 The conference consists of 11 sessions of three papers each. Each paper takes the form of a Twitter thread of up to 12 Tweets delivered from the accounts of the speaker over 20 minutes. The start of each thread will be retweeted from @MidAgesModGames.

11 #MAMG20 In each session, we have 30 minutes dedicated to Q&A. please feel free to address questions to our speakers after this point, but be aware there may be a delayed response. After the conference, the papers will be posted on the University of Winchester website.

12 #MAMG20 Our first session ‘Medieval Source Material for Games’ starts at 12 noon with papers from @markusmindrebo, @sagathain, and @thiliel. We hope to see you there and hope you enjoy the conference!


Medieval Source Material for Games

‘“You can't stand the sight of a strong Norse woman?”

Markus Mindrebo, Royal Holloway, University of London. @markusmindrebo

1 #MAMG20 The Norse influence on Medieval fantasy is well known, with cultural impact on games such as Skyrim difficult to overstate. In an unusually low number of words, I seek here to question whether this includes social structures of the saga paradigm, such as gender.

2 #MAMG20 My recurring hypothesis, previously applied to the Witcher games, is that fantasy RPGs frequently follow a Norse rooted binary pattern in depictions of prominent female NPCs. The women playing central roles often fall into two distinct motifs drawn from Norse material.

3 #MAMG20 In very simplified terms, we can categorise them as “good” women, who embody masculine ideals of strength, aggression and honour, and “bad” women, embodying treacherous, deceptive femininity, frequently associated with sorcery and manipulative cunning.

4 #MAMG20 While I’ve found that this system fits almost seamlessly in other RPGs, Skyrim poses a challenge. While there are few “treacherous” women (with exceptions), the game’s female Nord cast is dominated by masculine women seemingly ripped from the pages of the sagas.

5 #MAMG20 Olfina Gray Mane, Aela the Huntress, Mjoll and Uthgerd. These women are saga style characters in the most visible way, taken straight out of legendary sagas and Eddic poems. Further, they retain the gendered depth of Norse shieldmaidens and maiden kings.

6 #MAMG20 Consistently and explicitly placing themselves in opposition to men, they challenge the male monopoly on masculinity. As in the sagas, this can be read two ways: as exposing and vilifying gendered transgression, or as highlighting gendered freedom of action.

7 #MAMG20 Here, Skyrim excels in adapting Norse tropes for a contemporary audience. While it falls into the pattern of Norse gendered literary presentation, it transforms tropes to accentuate genuine agency, and embraces aggressive saga female masculinity as something positive.

8 #MAMG20 The contrast among the Nords is not the malevolent sorceress, but the female ruler. Skyrim’s female jarls are not masculine heroines, but politicians, comparatively feminine and deferential when they have to be, but arguably more powerful. Take Elisif the Fair.

9 #MAMG20 This phenomenon, too, finds Norse resonance, in the aristocrats of the kings’ sagas, negotiating identity and power in the male dominated world of national politics. Elisif herself is similar to her saga namesake, the wife of king Haraldr hardráði, among others.

10 #MAMG20 The relative lack of scapegoated inciters or menacing sorceresses implies a removal of the more negative Norse framework of femaleness. The powerful and female is not threatening and sinister in Skyrim to the extent that it sometimes can be in sagas and Norse myths.

11 #MAMG20 Conclusively, while the game lacks the characteristic complexity of the sagas, and differs in many ways as shown, it does retain many of their basic internal structures, including specific images of gendered behaviour, underneath its already Norse laden atmospheres.


‘The Troll of High Hrothgar: Ludic pacing and Norse medievalism in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’ Adam Bierstedt. @sagathain

1 #MAMG20 “The first time I rolled up at High Hrothgar all dewey eyed and ready for adventure and that troll punched me into next week. Literally punched me halfway across the map because I glitched out and flew 10 million miles into the sky.” ~@LynnSchnbeck. Let’s talk trolls:

2 #MAMG20 This particular Frost troll is well known. It is a challenge along the 7000 Steps to High Hrothgar and its aggression and strength make it very dangerous. This paper will use visual and gameplay design and mapping spatial context to compare it to Old Norse trolls.

3 #MAMG20 Why Norse sagas and Skyrim? 1) Troll is borrowed from Norwegian! 2) Skyrim matches stereotypical Norse aesthetics. 3) Trolls in Skyrim may draw on Germanic myth the Udefrykte has a Scandinavian esque name, whose namesake in Morrowind mirrors Grendel and Heorot.

4 #MAMG20 In the Norse sagas, tröll appears as a catch all pejorative for the paranormal. These can be sorcerers, giants, undead, or scary animals. They are both physically real and psychologically symbolic of fear. The word also overlaps semantically with jötunn and þurs.

5 #MAMG20 Troll like beings are sometimes people, or act like people! In Gríms saga loðinkinna, a troll that is killed for nearly sinking Grímr’s ship turns out to be a child with a family. Trolls can be socialized, pushing the borders of human society and morality.

6 #MAMG20 From the 14th to the 19th century, “troll” narrowed in meaning to refer to more stupid humanoid mountain dwellers in Iceland and Norway, from which they came to English in 1859. They could still interact with society, like Grýla does, but are less ambiguous.

7 #MAMG20 In Skyrim, this troll is very real and non human. It has long arms, tusks, and white fur with 3 eyes. It moves and acts much like an ape. Skyrim’s troll loses the ambiguous human ness of medieval folklore and becomes more like a yeti with some extra fantasy flavor.

8 #MAMG20 This troll appears halfway up the 7000 Steps. It is the hardest and final enemy on the Steps, but it appears with no fanfare, and is not in an arena like a “boss fight.” Mechanically, it is an unexpected difficulty spike designed to overwhelm and scare a new player.

9 #MAMG20 It acts and is surrounded by animals. Like the Ice wolf, bears, or Frostbite Spider, this is something that is incapable of communication, and blindly attacks (unlike real wild animals). It is brutish and stupid, more so than any troll in the sagas.

10 #MAMG20 This troll is an intrusion neither NPC on the Steps warns of a troll. It also has no lair, unlike the bears at the beginning. It is a recent arrival, who appears and forces players to navigate around it or flee. It disrupts the landscape without integration.

11 #MAMG20 There are wonderous monsters in Skyrim (giants and dragons) that can interact with the socialized world in variably nuanced ways, and liminal playable beings like Argonians/Khajiit that are often ostracized and fetishized by players and NPCs. Trolls are not that.

12 #MAMG20 While the design and habitat draw loosely on Germanic epic and 19th century tröll, trolls in Skyrim retain only the terror of their medieval source, sans permanent consequence or psychological reflection. It kills you, you load a save, you try again.


‘The Warble of a Smitten Knight. Tournament game mechanics and courtly culture in “The Witcher

3: Wild Hunt Blood and Wine”’

Lena van Beek, University of Hamburg. @thiliel

1/12 #MAMG20 Hello! This is my first foray into medieval #GameStudies. I’m grateful for any feedback on this emerging paper. Here are some observations I made in @witchergame #TheWitcher3 B&W about tournament game mechanics and courtly culture. I’ll be focusing on the quest WSK.

2/12 #MAMG20 This sex scene in a library in „The Lady of the Lake“ (the title itself an allusion to Arthurian Romance), is symbolic for the treatment of intertextuality as well as humour in TW saga at large. This humorous eclecticism is also present in the B&W DLC.

3/12 #MAMG20 Geralt participates in a tournament in „Toussaint. That ridiculous fairy tale duchy“ (ToS), which is inspired by France. But the (neo )medievalisms are not limited to French chivalric culture (Cervantes, Grimm, etc.). LTF warrants its own paper.

4/12 #MAMG20 Geralt fights the tournament in knight Guillaume’s stead who is trying to woo its patron, Lady Vivienne. This quest subverts medieval clichés, as he has the option to free her from toxic masculinity as well as a curse (being a prize/damsel in distress).

5/12 #MAMG20 Identity is key in chivalric culture: „Here in Toussaint, we treat heraldry very seriously.“ Each knight has own coat of arms&tent. G. can choose between two emblems on his shield&armour even though no shields are used in the fights! Vid. 4m:

6/12 #MAMG20 Here game mechanics&med. tournament combat forms clash. The grandstand bears a horse rampant with a jousting knight, but jousting is conspicuously absent. The crossbow=only ranged weapon G. wields: tourney rules are being adapted to the existing game mechanics.

7/12 #MAMG20 The day before the tournament, Geralt is encouraged the try out three different combat forms, not unlike a „vesperîe“ in middle high german literature: pre fights take place the day before the tourney proper. Signs are banned!

8/12 #MAMG20 A ceremony precedes the race, knights&their outfits&valor are being presented by a herald. This is reminiscent of med. descriptions of tournaments („Der turnei von Nantheyz“). Rhyming commentary also imposes „A Knight’s Tale“ associations. 6m:

9/12 #MAMG20 Various neomedievalisms pervade B&W such as the throwing a gauntlet&ensuing „duel“ with Anseis, the fight against the Shaelmaar, evoking roman arenas&gladiator battles against beasts, as well as Geralt being crowned victor of the tourney with a laurel wreath.

10/12 #MAMG20 Note that it is not necessesary to win the tournament for the quest to be completed. This DLC presents such a plethora of medieval references even in environmental story telling: a danse macabre in Beauclair, a casket & two letters found in the tourney tents...

11/12 #MAMG20 Fusion exemplified: Telling fairy tales to children is being merged with the traditional „aventiure sagen“ at the Arthurian court. References are playful&numerous, not merely eclectic but „highly self conscious and controlled.“ (Deszcz Tryhubczak / Zarzycka p. 187)

12/12 #MAMG20 To sum up, here are a mindmap, sources and abbreviations. Thank you for following this thread to the end. I’m looking forward to your comments and questions!


Writing History through Game Mechanics

‘Playing Princes and Popes: Mapping the Dynamics of Power in Medieval Strategy Games’ James Hill @historicus_rex

1/ #MAMG20 Welcome! Exercising power is a core function of strategy games, but what does that process teach us about the past? Are the games we play giving us a representative impression of medieval politics? And does it make any difference?

2/ #MAMG20 Strategy games typically take 1 of 2 approaches to modelling power: absolute authority or contractual relationships. Within the player’s sphere of influence (ie, their empire), in most games, the player gets full control over every detail of their rule.

3/ #MAMG20 This makes sense in design; forcing human players to be at the whim of AI behaviour and mechanics makes it hard to achieve victory conditions/have fun. Even games which generate story from AI interactions gives the player lots of control over their empire (ie, CK2).

4/ #MAMG20 When interacting with NPC parties, however, most games adopt contractual relationships. Your relationship is represented by a number, and the higher the number, the better friends you are (usually with benefits). They might give you money or help you fight.

5/ #MAMG20 These systems represent medieval political entities as personalities, and represents politics as completely individual. There are no decisions taken apart from by the personality. Social/legal/political systems only exist if they act to constrain the leader's decision.

6/ #MAMG20 Power in European states, however, was not entirely personal in the middle ages. Legal and administrative bureaucracies existed and had some independence. The inclination of a ruler was important, but certainly not the only factor that would define a state’s policy.

7/ #MAMG20 The papacy in particular (due to its comparatively high turnover of leaders?) had a very effective bureaucracy which functioned comparatively independently. In games, however, interactions with popes are limited and based on if the pope personally likes you:

8/ #MAMG20 Typically, you can ask popes for annulment, popularity increases in Catholic populations, land/money, and crusades. Pope likes you = success. Most of these were really decided by bureaucracy, not the popes themselves. So why make games so personality based?

9/ #MAMG20 Obv playability matters. The more complex your systems, the less playable it is. ‘Papal Petition Simulator’ is not a mini game most people will want to play. But there is also ideology at work. We imagine the MA as a time of absolute monarchs whose word is law.

10/ #MAMG20 Games model that perspective because of the convenience of playability, and that also helps re enforce the ‘simple past’ and ‘great person’ narratives we popularly adopt about the MA. The MA wasn’t all kings and lords. But the way we tell it is. Its impact has reach:

11/ #MAMG20 Strategy mechanics tell a story of autocrats with total power and describe it as history, meshing with preconceptions. The past was more complex, but that doesn’t play well. Given that how we play history can reinforce our understanding, the simplification continues.



mechanics: digital humanities and game design’ from James Bailie, University of Vienna @JubalBarca

1/12 #MAMG20 Hello! I'm James Baillie, PhD student @DH_UniWien working on medieval Georgia and occasional #gamedev and game modder. This thread/paper is on my course "Digital Medievalisms: Game Design and Digital Humanities". I’ve taught it once so far, this year at @univienna.

2/12 #MAMG20 A key aim with this course was to balance examining games as narratives to compare to medieval texts with looking at them as mechanical models of societies the understanding of pseudo past society a player intuits from a game is as much mechanical as narrative.

3/12 #MAMG20 Questions like "how do other actors react to your actions" are some of the most important for a player's ongoing impression of a past/pseudopast society. Are they seeing an age of belligerence? Or retrenchment? Lone action or networked plans? It's all in the code.

4/12 #MAMG20 So the structure of the course was to have a number of sub units, each of which was thematic: travel, fate, race, crafts, relationships. Each had one session on medieval viewpoints on the topic, and one session on the digital and DH presentation of the topic.

5/12 #MAMG20 The viewpoints sections took a breadth approach. We looked at translated texts from across Eurasia, 500 1500, with as wide a range of viewpoints as I could find. This gabe glimpses of what does *and doesn't* get used in games, and ranges of factors affecting a topic.

6/12 #MAMG20 For the digital sections I set a worksheet or examination of a DH resource & discussed in basic/theoretical terms some underlying storage mechanisms and algorithms behind modelling that particular theme, with a comparison to DH approaches to the same issues.

7/12 #MAMG20 So for travel we covered djikstra's algorithm and looked at its use in games or in the al Thurayya project ( For fate, we looked at the basic building blocks of functions and did a bonus session teaching first principles of Python.

8/12 #MAMG20 Race and relationships led to discussions of prosopography and social network analysis: the ways that both DH practitioners and devs encode interpersonal relationships and personal characteristics affect analyses or stories that can mechanically develop from them.

9/12 #MAMG20 For example, take a strategy game where the engine mechanically considers if a noble is likely to defect between factions. One factor might be what the character considers their ethnic/cultural identity to be and which parts of that they're drawn to.

10/12 #MAMG20 Many if not most games, though, have those sorts of identities as a single, pre set fundament of a character. This is alien to the sources I as a prosopographer grapple with where people have complex, layered identities which can come to the forefront situationally.

11/12 #MAMG20 Split identities and mixed loyalties are a core part of medieval chronicle and epic narratives alike: but without them being mechanically there, they can at best be a pre scripted feature for certain characters rather than a "natural" aspect of the created world.

12/12 #MAMG20 Examining how DH practitioners & game devs model these concepts, and the narrative effects of that, I think helps provoke humanistic thinking about code and what it does and says: code can and does tell & create stories too. Thanks for reading and for all questions!


‘Digital Feudalism: The Historical Problem Spaces of Rulership in Three Medieval Videogames’

Jeremiah McCall, Cincinnati Country Day School @gamingthepast

1 #MAMG20 Historical games are designed & function as Historical Problem Spaces. The HPS is a media sensitive, design focused analysis & design framework I have been developing over the past 8 years. ( 2/historical simulations as problem spaces by jeremiah mccall/)

2 #MAMG20 Main point: the problem space designers choose to design (whose problem space?) will greatly affect how the game presents historical topics. I'll try to show that w/ three games w/ HPS about medieval politics: Age of Empires 2; Medieval 2 Total War, & Crusader Kings 2

3 #MAMG20 HPS Components: *Player agent w/ some power and a *goal, operates within *virtual space, containing *elements that enable and/or constrain player. Thus player adopts goal oriented *strategies & behaviors, & makes *choices. All shaped by *genre conventions.

4 #MAMG20 M2TW's campaign is Europe 1080; CK2's base game is Europe 1066. AoE2 has a "Feudal Age" loosely pointing to 11th c. All place player as a "feudal" ruler of 11th c. "France". So let's use 11th c. French rulers as our historical topic.

5 #MAMG20 Historical 11th c. France: 1) Political power and organization limited, personal & with local lords 2) Loc lords kept military retinues 2) Capetian Kings weak, barely controlled royal demesnes 3) All sorts of forts (castles) empowered local lord autonomy.+ AGRARIAN

6 #MAMG20 So: what does historical 11th c. rulership look like presented in the problem spaces our 3 games model? We'll examine 3 problem space diagrams breaking down the components of the historical problem space in Age of Empires II, Medieval 2 Total War, and Crusader Kings II.

7 #MAMG20 AoE2, a genre conforming RTS applied to & shaping the topic of medieval rule & war. Focus on direct control of simple economic engine & MINIONS (workers and units). Churn out soldiers for "arena". Competitive materialist & militarist race against enemies like other RTS.

8 #MAMG20 M2TW, a genre conforming Total War game applied to topic of medieval rule. Extremely centralized, powerful ruler, directly govern / manage of all territory (caveat: w/Characters). Control MINIONS (except soldiers routing). Everything is for the war effort (TOTAL WAR).

9 #MAMG20 CK II, however, is genre conforming Paradox grand strategy game. Not wars of elimination & a technological/material progression as goals, CKII focuses on PRESTIGE. Equally important, focuses on a player agent w/ LIMITED control. Govern through NON MINION subordinates.

10 #MAMG20 None can simply be labeled "accurate" or not. Even CK2 has DLC with Satanic powers & the ability to rule as a rabbit or horse. AoE2 & M2TW both include more agriculture than CK2. But holistically, the problem space of CK2 is better supported by historical evidence.

11 #MAMG20 Key design choices work together to make CK2 a more historically valid (i.e. evidence based) problem space. 1) Open ended goal of prestige & varied NON BATTLE ways to get it. 2) LIMITED AGENT 2) Focus on character element & relationships. 3) Government = personal.

12 #MAMG20 Final thought: understanding gamic history = understanding HPS. Imagine changes needed to make AoE2 & M2TW include open ended goals, limited agents, indirect rule of non demesne land, influence of councilors. Could do it, but then they're not successful genre exemplars


Re enacting and Recreating the Middle Ages

‘Bringing History to life, or life to History? Videogames as digital Historical Re enactment’ James Reah, University of Winchester. @jamesreah123

1. #MAMG20 Re enactment can offer a both an 'authentic' experience for its participants, as well an 'accurate' portrayal of life in a historical period, transcending previous criticisms of amateurish theatre, and now commended by modern scholars.

2. #MAMG20 But, while Re enactment may display material accuracy, based on known finds and depictions, the accuracy of acting out events impacts on its authenticity. A prime example of this is "combat re enactment" that show fighting, and warfare with rules.

3. #MAMG20 Combat presents risks of injury, and at times, death. Strict measures and rules are put in place to minimise risks, but effects authenticity for awkward fighting e.g. weapons not used properly and careful contact with the body.

4. #MAMG20 Videogames remove this risk, and advances in motion technology and game engines can now produce combats and movements that match the weapons being used and armour worn. Difficulty can also be adjusted to imitate realistic "damage" scales.

5. #MAMAG20 For this reason I wish to provide the example of Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord (MB2) and Blade and Sorcery (BS). While both have fictional backdrops, they offer experiences of Medieval combat rivaling traditional re enactment.

6. #MAMG20 In MB2, players are actors in Medieval conflicts, ranging from small 'skirmish' encounters to fighting in 'grand scale' battles and sieges, that can generate hundreds of combatants at one time; viewed critically, these conflicts are more authentic.

7. #MAMG20 BS is a game played in Virtual Reality (VR). Players handle and use a variety of medieval weaponry against generated opponents. Players have full control over the weapon such as where to hold it, using it alongside a shield, and combat motions.

8. #MAMG20 However, is accuracy neglected over authenticity? The fictional setting of MB2 yields to re enactment presenting a more accurate insight into Medieval culture and politics, but both rely heavily on archaeological records.

9. #MAMG20 These experiences aid historical study in digitally recreating battles and events, offering greater insight not only into army mechanics, but also inviting a soldier's perspective, to experience combat without the safety limits of re enactment.

10. #MAMG20 Is re enactment outdated? No, as it is re enactment and physical replicas that feed the digital recreation of historical periods and themes. Digital re enactment though is more accessible to many, and brings re enactment to our current Cyber Age.

11. #MAMG20 Future advancements can build on motion technology for greater authenticity of combat. As such, developments in VR offer exciting opportunities for games to invite more authentic experiences, inviting beneficial contribution from scholarship.

12. #MAMG20 Re enactment is of great use but limits in combat restricts its authenticity. Advancements in videogames remove these restrictions and evolving technology builds on increasing accuracy in games, to provide authentic digital re enactment.


‘Playing with Medieval Drama Soundscapes: evocation, recreation and artistic practice’ Mariana Lopez, University of York @Mariana_J_Lopez

1 #MAMG20 Hi! I’m a Senior Lecturer @TFTI_UoY and I’ll be presenting on ‘Playing with Medieval Drama Soundscapes: evocation, recreation and artistic practice.’ The focus is on the York Mystery Plays, the acoustical data linked to the medieval performances and its dissemination.

2 #MAMG20 The Mystery Plays are a cycle of plays performed in York from the 14 16th century. Each play used a wagon constructed for the occasion and handled through the streets of York, where they stopped at pre determined outdoor locations to perform for audiences.

3 #MAMG20 Research (through on site acoustic measurements/computer models) demonstrated that it’s likely that performers/organisers learnt to adapt the use of the street space, wagon configuration and positioning of performers to optimise challenging outdoor acoustic conditions.

4 #MAMG20 The soundscapes of the city would have also interacted with the performances, with sound sources competing for attention, including wagon wheels, animals, church bells, audience reactions, passersby and the sounds of Yorkshire’s weather!

5 #MAMG20 We designed an interactive interface to allow users to ‘play’ with historical acoustics. The aim: demonstrate that there isn’t one possible recreation of the past, there are multiple. Sensorial recreations are a curatorial act, influenced by our notions of the past.

6 #MAMG20 It’s useful to consider a classification of sound experiences of heritage sites that reflects on (1) functions, (2) the end user, and (3) audiences’ own perceptions of what history “sounded” like, as mediated through films, tv, video games, and others.

7 #MAMG20 The proposed classification is linked to ideas surrounding sensorial experiences as culturally specific, creative use of sound design, the technology available and the ethical considerations linked with transparency acknowledging the gaps in knowledge, for example.

8 #MAMG20 Let’s focus on ‘Sound as evocation’ and ‘Sounds as Recreation’. The former refers to sounds designed to evoke the past, utilising preconceived notions widely known and accepted: sounds visitors would easily associate with a historical period. Let’s listen to an example!

9 #MAMG20 ‘Sound as Recreation of the Past’ are cases in which the aural experiences are based on thorough research on a space and its historical context an approach that is often linked to sound archaeology. This is the case of ‘The Soundscapes of the York Mystery Plays’.

10 #MAMG20 The video shows the user selecting what acoustical setting they experience there are several choices because we don’t have enough historical data to know they are possibilities, not facts. The same with sound sources, they are likely options but specifics are unknown.

11 #MAMG20 Recreations are about choices. We can also learn about the past by thinking about modern performances of the plays, another angle that this interface seeks to engage users with. Let’s watch a video with some examples of oral histories!

12 #MAMG20 This project engaged with ethics, multiple histories and perception in sound heritage. This presentation is also a curated event, I carefully chose the examples played, the images shown. Would you have reflected on my work differently had I made different choices?


‘Hearing Problems: Sounding Medieval in Video Games’

Karen Cook, University of Hartford

1 #MAMG20 Hi, everyone! I’ll be giving this as a full paper on 10 Jul (#imc2020): this is a sneak preview. Also: see the Oxford Bibl. on “Medievalism and Music” doi: 10.1093/obo/9780199757824 0241 & the new Oxford Handbook of Music and Medievalism (

2 #MAMG20 As this conference has already shown, modern media such as video games offer a wide array of types of Middle Ages, some complementary and others quite contradictory, some rooted in history, others creative reimaginings, others hardly recognizable.

3 #MAMG20 The study of medievalism in music, therefore, seeks to analyze and understand the myriad sonic cues that have developed, in some cases over centuries, as a sort of aural shorthand for any and all of these types of Middle Ages.

4 #MAMG20 Few of these cues have to do with what music actually sounded like in the Middle Ages; instead, the “sounds of the medieval” have been created and perpetuated in media such as opera, symphonic repertoire, film, literature, and popular music.

5 #MAMG20 Some of the more common medieval cues include plainchant, parallel fifths, modal melodies; the horn call/fanfare; the church bell, the Gothic pipe organ, the hurdy gurdy, lute, or recorder. (See John Haines:

6 #MAMG20 Other cues are further removed from medieval musical ideas: lots of Latin, or “Other ed” languages: Sanskrit, Elvish; a bombastic ensemble à la Orff’s “O Fortuna”; the wordless female voice, often symbolizing youth, nostalgia, or a distant past.

7 #MAMG20 Such sounds might not be medievalist unto themselves but are used in conjunction with other medievalizing information scenery, clothing, setting, narrative, and ludic function and thus continue to be (re)medievalized.

8 #MAMG20 As numerous scholars have noted, the Middle Ages act as a blank slate upon which later societies, incl. today’s, project their hopes, fears, and preconceptions, some quite harmful: the MA as all white, violent, heteronormative, misogynist, Christian.

9 #MAMG20 Such stereotypes are often visible, both overtly and covertly, in medievalist video games, whether historical or fantastical. But are they audible? I argue that at least some of the most common sonic cues for the medieval might subconsciously replicate these problems.

10 #MAMG20 Some of these cues stem from actual or perceived (Catholic) Christianity: plainchant, Latin, the church bell, the organ. If these are main referents for the medieval, are the Middle Ages being (inadvertently) portrayed as exclusively Christian?

11 #MAMG20 Similarly, timbres/stratifications of voices can play to stereotypical heteronormative gender roles: deep male voices=martial, no vibrato=religious, lower/vibrato fem. voices=dangerous/seductive, higher/no vibrato fem. voices = pure/nostalgic

12 #MAMG20 While such sonic cues occur in all modern media, in games players must act based on information gleaned from the audible, which might further ingrain these stereotypes even in games w/o explicit medieval themes. Can we imagine a different sound world for the medieval?


Historical Accuracy and Authenticity

‘When authenticity calls: Debates about identity and history inside gaming culture’ Nicolas Huss, Universität Tübingen. @NiHuMedieval

1 #MAMG20 Historical settings in games are being perceived as authentic if they correspond with the image of history players and creators have. In case of the Middle Ages, these images often date back to medievalism of the 19th century rather than actual historical research.

2 #MAMG20 Experiencing history as authentic is closely linked to von Rankes’ claim to tell history ‘as it really was’. If images of the MA are considered as ‘true’, they were reproduced and solidified in cultural memory, which then again condition personal and cultural identity.

3 #MAMG20 J. Assmann calls cultural communication ‘identity concrete’. Therefore, identity is connected to spaces of memory (Erinnerungsräume/Zeitinseln). Certain fortified images of history can be such spaces. Questioning those spaces can be perceived as an attack on identity.

4 #MAMG20 the debate about Kingdome Come: Deliverance is a prime example: This game had (quite justified) to face critique. Among those the reproach to draw an image of the so called ‘white’ MA. On this topic check the special series on @PublicMedieval:

5 #MAMG20 Creators, designers and developers consolidate (also through presenting the game as authentic and ‘real’) what authentical history is. Because of sharing similar images of the MA this mostly corresponds with what players are perceiving as authentic.

6 #MAMG20 This is what I would call following Sabrow&Saupe subject authenticity. This differs from object authenticity which also can be called ‘backdrop authenticity’ (C. Heinze). The subject authenticity begins were the latter ends and is more difficult to grasp.

7 #MAMG20 To clarify: When the game is being touted as ‘realistic’, this crosses the threshold between object and subject authenticity. Games like the Total War Series e.g. remain in object authenticity and players can narrate their own subject authenticity.

8 #MAMG20 At this point I will position my critique for games like KCD. Creators are responsible for their own and the players image of history. Both must learn to reflect it. It is considered ‘factual history’, although it is medievalism. For KCD also check out @_ubique on Fri.

9 #MAMG20 They must accept that (neo)medievalims are internalized. Games like KC:D have some problematic views on the MA not because this is intended, but because all participants think it IS history. Sadly, fertile ground for alt right ‘catch webs’.

10 #MAMG20 This also makes things complicated for critics. To get access to such debates, I think, scholarly critique shouldn’t only taunt singular appearances; Historians must work on externalizing medievalisms on ‘low threshold’. But problematic content still must be uncovered.

11 #MAMG20 If the community doesn’t reflect this and use (neo)medievalism to legitimate racism, sexism or culturalism they exclude themselves from the dialogue, like they exclude others through their views on history. But often people are accessible; the question remains: how?

12 #MAMG20 Hardened frontlines often result of unconscious bias of past and identity. In the best case, players and creators learn to constantly reflect their own past and thus identity. So maybe in the future debates on authenticity in could be held in a more productive way.


‘Medieval Strategy Videogames: The tenuous balance between historical representation and playability’

Juan Manuel Rubio Arévalo, Central European University, Budapest @jmrubio120

1) #MAMG20 What makes a video game historically accurate? Using Frasca’s (2004) definition of simulation and Bogost (2008) procedural rhetoric, I argue that games that rely more on gameplay mechanics instead of narrative, as strategy ones, are better equipped to convey knowledge.

2) #MAMG20 Strategy games simulate complex social dynamics. The more accurate they are, the harder the gameplay. Developers keep a balance between accuracy and gameplay in which the former is often sacrificed for benefit of the latter as is the case of AoE2, M2TW and CK2.

3) #MAMG20 Feudalism is CK2 key mechanic through the opinion system, which allows for the simulation of personal feudal relations. Decisions and traits affect what each character thinks of the player, forcing him/her to consider all possible consequences to each decision taken.

4) #MAMG20 For example, dealing with vassals’ taxes/rebellions can be counter intuitive since personal relations matter more than law. Because of the complexity of the simulation, CK2 is particularly difficult to play with the most thorough tutorials in YouTube lasting for hours.

5) #MAMG20 AoE2 and M2TW keep gameplay simple by ignoring feudalism. In M2TW is practically inexistent, while in AoE2 is a narrative tool in the campaigns where the “national hero” faces greedy and treacherous nobles, an anachronism present since 18th 19th century historiography.

6) #MAMG20 M2TW key dynamic is warfare. Through the recruitment and battlefield mechanics the game simulates a relatively accurate version of medieval warfare. Armies are generally made of levies with few elite knights while terrain, morale and type of units are key in battles.

7) #MAMG20 M2TW depiction of warfare is heavily influenced by cinema in the aesthetics, camera, and music. Braveheart is a good example of this, despite being highly inaccurate. Games, as films, give an authentic experience of the middle ages (Elliot, 2011), not an accurate one.

8) #MAMG20 Open battles were a rarity in the Middle Ages, but due to the influence of the entertainment industry players expect them in games like M2TW. In this way, the simulation becomes a “hyperreality” in the Braudillard sense. It is more real than the middle ages themselves.

9) #MAMG20 CK2 and AoE2 have simpler war mechanics. CK2 auto resolves battles based mostly on the number of soldiers, while AoE2 lay somewhere in the middle with different ways of playing depending on the civilization, but not as complex as M2TW because of the map and gameplay.

10) #MAMG20 Medieval religion often misunderstood in popular media, hence games use it in various ways. AoE2 uses it as ways to exalt campaign figures like Cuauhtémoc and Saladin. Besides this, the only significant mechanic is the relics, which provide gold based on pilgrimage.

11) #MAMG20 Because of their more complex gameplays, CK2 and M2TW use religion in a more encompassing way, reflecting medieval issues like religious uniformity, the inquisition, the crusades and the Investiture Controversy. This is only possible at a more complex level of simul.

12) #MAMG20 VGs seek to entertain, not to teach. However, as others have noted, historical accuracy is important for players and devs. This accuracy must be balanced with gameplay in order to remain appealing. Games, as films, tend to offer authenticity instead of full accuracy.


Games for Education and Research I

‘Playing with things: Representing Medieval Material Culture through Video games’ Juan Hiriart, University of Salford @juanfrahiriart

1 #MAMG20 Hi everybody! I would like to start this paper briefly reviewing Bill Brown’s ideas on ‘thing theory’, exploring how they can help us understand material culture on games. A first distinction we can make here is the one between OBJECTS and THINGS

2 #MAMG20 Brown’s scheme comes handy to understand THINGS as mediators between a subject object relationship, where THING(NESS) is defined by both their material and immaterial dimensions. Our relationship with things goes beyond its physical perception and use

3 #MAMG20 According to Brown, we encounter the thingness in objects when they stop working for us: “when the drill breaks, when the car stalls, when the window gets filthy”. “Released from the bond of being equipment”, this is when the object becomes something else

4 #MAMG20 With games, we need to consider other dimensions. Aarseth divides game content into three ontological layers: real, fictional and virtual. In game doors can be geometry/texture supporting a world representation (fictional) or resemble real world behaviours (virtual)

5 #MAMG20 Doors are kind of boring, so I would like to focus this paper on swords, exploring how their thingness can be studied on their virtual and fictional layers. Imbued with agentive characteristics, medieval swords had their own names as well as mystical powers

6 #MAMG20 Never just tools, swords have important narrative functions. These are evident in Beowulf saga, where swords are semi autonomous agents with their own histories and changing identities. Their narrative functions becoming evident when they fail to act as blades

7 #MAMG20 In the world of @witchergame #TheWitcher3, swords can also be productively studied in connection to thing theory. Swords are an integral part of the game, and no one but two has always be carried out to fight natural and unnatural beings

8 #MAMG20 As virtual things, TW3 swords are defined by numerical properties. The equation defining their material efficiency, however, is complex and remains cryptic for most players. While not actually breaking, the object’s simulation gap keeps them enigmatic

9 #MAMG20 In a fictional layer, TW3 swords have inscriptions. On this regard, @CDPROJEKTRED followed a tradition from hist swords, often found inscribed with indecipherable meanings. Projects such @BLMedieval asked public for help in deciphering them

10 #MAMG20 An interesting parallel can be drawn with communities of players deciphering the inscriptions on TW3 swords. Written in Glagolitic, the oldest known Slavic alphabet, the meaning of some of these symbols remains a subject of debate and contradiction

11 #MAMG20 Interestingly, participants interpreted the inscriptions as Christian invocation, one of the main hypothesis on medieval Germanic swords. This interpretation in Reddit triggered interesting discussions about the object’s agencies and the author’s intentions

12 #MAMG20 In summary, TW3 swords are far more than gameplay tools. Their ‘thingness’ as mysterious/enigmatic objects both on their virtual and narrative dimensions shows their potential to communicate more complex meanings and relationships with material culture


‘Rosemary RPG as a study proposal for the history teaching of the Hundred Years’ War’ Andressa Buss, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre @andressabussm

1 #MAMG20 Rosemary RPG (PT BR: @alecrimrpg, ENG: @rosemaryrpg) is a tabletop roleplaying game I created as a tool to discuss and teach history in a cost free, accessible and engaging way. Initial development stages are focused on the Hundred Years' War for analysis and testing.

2 #MAMG20 Current main point: how to develop this type of game in a way that brings academic research closer to basic education, thus avoiding reinforcing misconceptions without hindering the imaginative aspects of RPG? I'll try to show main results from data collection.

3 #MAMG20 Components of analysis: 1) The game itself (theme, educational and in game goals, material components such as play sheets, dynamics/how it's played, layout). 2) Play tests (in which context it was played, how it was received, future adjustments and possibilities).

4 #MAMG20 Though it is intended to be expanded as a tool for all history subjects, narrowing the theme to focus on the 100yrs War aimed to help understand how big the scope should be for each session and play sheet. For now the biggest success relies on a balance.

5 #MAMG20 I.e. Larger scope for play sheets with concepts we consider key for students/players and work as a prompt for them to further research the subject, while the actual sessions cover nuances (how these concepts work in a smaller scale) tabletop RPG does that really well.

6 #MAMG20 Play tests happened in brazilian public schools, which showed it was vital to keep the format mentioned. COST FREE: always free plus providing a guide for academics, teachers and history students who are interested in creating play sheets based on their research.

7 #MAMG20 ACESSIBLE: taken to a large audience (social media, events, etc); requires only pen, paper & 1 person having access to the content; easily applicable and adaptable; research being done on specific formats for people with disabilities, such as Braille play sheets.

8 #MAMG20 ENGAGING: game dynamics + layout. Game dynamics data collection suggests shifting the focus from re enactment to free roleplay is positive as long as players understand they aren't trying to repeat history and that there are limits to the use of the concepts available.

9 #MAMG20 The text comes from academic research and though the outcome of the war might be different they can't use contemporary weapons, for example. Regarding layout, a big part of development consisted in making the design appealing while trying to avoid harmful stereotypes.

10 #MAMG20 Play sheets for the 100yrs War were divided between England and Frace, Paulo Rudas was the designer for the initial format shown here, and Joana Fraga was the illustrator for both the logo (tweet 1) and the project's cover (tweet 11).

11 #MAMG20 Play tests show graphic design isn't just a desirable plus, but deeply associated with accessibility, engagement and the rupture of inaccuracies and stereotypes we are used to see, therefore should be as heavily built from historical research as the text.

12 #MAMG20 Data gathered already points to significantly positive results as well as future adjustments, which include the discussion of the concept of violence in the context of war and its relation to history teaching, the translation to english and the expansion of the game.



: Playing at Byzantine Borders’

Anna Sotiropoulou, Ionian University, Corfu @anyasot

1| #MAMG20 Hi everyone from Ionian University Greece, and we are going to talk about a game in Byzantine era. “Akritas” A joint work of HILAB/ISDLAB, in the context of ANTIKLEIA ( project, with a pinch of teaching history (elementary and high school).

2| #MAMG20 If you spend your school years in Greece you probably hated Byzantine history. Byzantium was always presented a little bit too theocratic, too much conservative, too much… boring. What if we could change this for students? What if students found Byzantium interesting?

3| #MAMG20 Remember Stephen Poole “The purpose of a video game … to offer the gift of play”. So this is what we want the students to do. Play and may be this way get more interested in Byzantine history. So who was Akritas (Ακρίτας)? Who were Akrites (Ακρίτες)?

4| #MAMG20 Akrites (from the Greek άκρη edge/border)people who were given land in exchange of defending the borders of the Empire. They reached their pick during ΙΧ and X centuries, when Arabs were attacking the Empire They were both “farmers” and soldiers.

5| #MAMG20 Being both “farmers” and soldiers seem to have an interesting twist for the game. The student will be able to work in either mode. Peaceful one producing and getting things done and warlike let’s attack everyone.

6| #MAMG20 The most known of the Akrites is the one called Digenis Akritas. He was not a historical person, but you can bet he is what any student would like to be in a video game. Like a Marvel superhero, he even had a fight with Death himself. And that was the only one he lost.

7| #MAMG20 If you are Greek you know the story. It was taught to you in literature courses (Ο Διγενής ψυχομαχεί κι η γη τονε τρομάσσει). In the “Digenis Akritas” poem, and in a number of folk songs his life, fights and death are narrated.

8| #MAMG20 So, there is a very strong narrative available, one that you expect to find for a video game. Anyway Digenis’ father was Arab (Syrian?) and his mother Byzantine. And it is this double origin that gave him his name (Digenis from two origins) and made him a superhero.

9| #MAMG20 He fought Arabs, Byzantine outlaws, even an Amazon (Maximo), and he defeated them all. The legend says that he would leap from Asia, to Cyprus and then to Crete, to defend the two islands, and even left his footprint or handprint on them. What a superhero!

10| #MAMG20 What do we expect from all this? Of course, to make, mainly elementary school, students more interested in Byzantine history: “Look at him! He is a superhero! He might be even better than the Marvel ones. After all, he does speak something similar to our language.”

11| #MAMG20 “And what if we could be able to play his final battle with Death? And what if we could win this battle? Seems even more interesting than attacking Arabs or Maximo. I wonder how it was living at that time. May be I should try learning more about the era he lived”.

12 | #MAMG20 Gaming with history and teaching using games (history or any other subject) are greatly valued in the Ionian University, and within the Depts. of Informatics and History. Keep in touch for our latest project BYRON when gaming is about the Greek Revolution 1821.


Games for Education and Research II

‘Gameplay Data Mining of an Open World Viking Age Learning Game’ Kim Krappala and Lauri Kemppinen, University of Turku. @KimKrappala

1 #MAMG20 The Finnish Viking age is a prehistorical era, which makes it difficult to teach via traditional methods in schools. Therefore, we created a Minecraft based Viking Age open world learning game (OWLG) for students ages 10 14. käyttäen @YouTube

2 #MAMG20 The game has 30+ Finnish speaking NPC characters, whose appearances are based on archaeological and ethnographic parallels. They help players solve tasks and describe their role in society. How willing are students to listen to the stories of Viking Age characters?

3 #MAMG20 To enhance the game’s realism, we included objects within the gaming environment modeled after real archaeological artifacts. Items found in the huts and houses reflect the status of different people in society. Are students able to recognize this without explanation?

4 #MAMG20 Despite the popularity of commercial open world games, OWLGs are rare. In OWLGs, players create their own story, on their own terms. Typically, learning games are built in a linear format and players have little room to make choices. What’s the price of freedom?

5 #MAMG20 The freedom players have in OWLGs poses three central problems 1) How can we design a learning curve to suit players of any background? 2) How can we nudge players to interact with learning materials? 3) How can we assess learning outcomes in an OWLG?

6 #MAMG20 10 14 year old Finnish students played our OWLG. Sessions included videotaped pre and post game group discussions about the Finnish Viking age and archaeology. Additionally, the students filled out questionnaires about their gaming experiences.

7 #MAMG20 The OWLG concept creates new data collection opportunities. We assessed the student’s playing styles by mining data from each players’ log file. The most relevant variables boiled down into five key categories, forming 4 typical player profiles.

8 #MAMG20 Profile 1 Socializers (10,8 % of players) Typically players with little or no prior Minecraft experience. Socialized with NPC characters most actively of all player types. Not particularly interested in exploring the world.

9 #MAMG20 Profile 2 Wanderers (40,2 % of players) Typically players with little prior Minecraft experience. Often chose an arbitrary direction at the beginning of the game and got lost in the endless OWLG. Interacted least with the educational material.

10 #MAMG20 Profile 3 Explorers (14,7 % of players) Wanted to create their own story on their own terms. Didn’t want NPC characters to direct them. Liked to collect items, alter the landscape, and observe the game design.

11 #MAMG20 Profile 4 Achievers (34,3 % of players) Followed the game’s intended reward mechanisms. Executed actions to complete tasks and collect items for the purpose of moving the story forward. Moved efficiently and didn’t waste time exploring the landscape.

12 #MAMG20 Many students felt the OWLG provided an inspiring, engaging learning environment. Many, however, explored (or got lost) instead of interacting with the intended learning content. The OWLG concept showed potential, particularly paired with follow up group discussions.


‘"The Triumphs of Turlough": a scholarly videogame about Medieval Ireland’

Vinicius Marino Carvalho, Universidade de São Paulo / Trinity College Dublin @carvalho_marino

1 #MAMG20 Hello everyone and thank you for coming. Today I’ll introduce you to The Triumphs of Turlough (ToT), a historical game with a purpose (GWAP) currently in development by @lemeusp and @arch_arise.

2 #MAMG20 We wanted to let people play with assumptions and evidence from actual historical theses and, in the process, help authors better understand the implications of their own ideas. This has been done in other fields (eg @Foldit) but not so much in history.

3 #MAMG20 In practice, this means designing games as labs on which people can run their own experiments, not unlike an ABM. We believe such a tool can be used to validate historical theses and, as a bonus, bring researchers and lay enthusiasts closer.

4 #MAMG20 Before introducing the game itself, a little historical background. ToT is set in Ireland between 1276 1318, when the de Clares, an English lineage, tried and failed to pacify the Gaelic kingdom of Thomond.

5 #MAMG20 ToT’s environment and underlying model is based on my original (and ongoing) PhD thesis. Its goal is to evaluate to which extent a series of environmental and economic troubles in the period may have help thwart de Clares’ ambitions.

6 #MAMG20 Although it’s a game about war, we wanted to avoid an unduly focus on combat. Our problem space, as @gamingthepast would put it, concern the challenge of mobilizing and provisioning armies amidst escalating economic devastation. This is reflected in our loop:

7 #MAMG20 Our title comes from a well known 14th c. account of the wars of Thomond. Commercial games hardly ever mention historical sources. We decided to bring ours to the forefront to try and bridge this gap (and also show historians where we’re coming from).

8 #MAMG20 A historical explanation of our entire design process (as well as our methods for incorporating player feedback back into the thesis) will be published in a series of papers and dev diaries the latter starting later this month.


9 #MAMG20 Our original plan was to prototype ToT as a boardgame. Due to covid 19, however, we’ve started playtesting on Tabletop Simulator. While our priority is the physical version, we may release our very own (and free to play) digital boardgame in the future.

10 #MAMG20 @arch_arise has made other scholarly games that proved very successful with students and history teachers. We hope to draw from their experience to make a game that is appealing as well as historically valid.

11 #MAMG20 Our figurines are made by @_alexmartire based on actual sites such as @caherconnell and @BunrattyCastle. The map, logo and original artwork are being designed by @_crdr97 and @desenhosoltos (look them up on Instagram).

12 #MAMG20 If successful, ToT will be used as a model for a series of historical GWAPs by @lemeusp. The idea is to give visibility to the work of our researchers and play with (pun intended) the possibilities of game based crowdsourcing. Thanks for reading!


‘“Losing is Fun”:



Rules and Play for Teaching and Research’

1 #MAMG20 Games are almost always about winning. Reaching the goal first. Defeating the other team. Co operating against the game or AI. This is an effective way of engaging players (and spectators) with the game, but is of limited use in representing history.

2 #MAMG20 A few historical events map onto the typical all or nothing competition model of games. The struggle for England in 1066 is a good example. The players (William, Harold, Harald, or maybe Sweyn II of Denmark) all aim to secure the crown of England. Only one can win.

3 #MAMG20 But this binary win/lose is hugely limiting. In reality, William clearly won in 1066 while Harold and Harald both definitively lost. But Sweyn is harder to place. He didn’t take England, but he kept control of Denmark (and didn’t die).

4 #MAMG20 Complex situations don’t fit into all or nothing victory mechanics. A good example of this is the Investiture Contest, normally presented as a binary rivalry between popes (esp. Gregory VII) and emperors (esp. Henry IV) c.1073 1122 over selecting (investing) bishops.

5 #MAMG20 Various subordinate figures are typically presented as loyal members of either side. The Antipope Guibert of Ravenna on the imperial side and Matilda of Canossa with the papacy for example. This fits neatly with a traditional game model: two sides, only one can win.

6 #MAMG20 I use this model of pope vs emperor in a basic teaching game to introduce students to the Investiture Contest. 3 players a side, simple mechanics, the goal is to have more influence in northern Italy than your opponents. It helps with places and characters.

7 #MAMG20 But in reality, each of these figures had their own agendas. Guibert preferred imperial investiture, but had his own ideas for Church reform. Matilda was close to Gregory, but had her own territorial problems. Their relationships with each other were complex.

8 #MAMG20 These goals often coincided with those of the pope/emperor, but this wasn’t always the case. Guibert had a tense relationship with Henry. Matilda effectively abandoned the papacy towards the end of the contest. And these individuals' goals weren’t mutually exclusive.

9 #MAMG20 To present this nuance, we need a different approach to goals. I’ve done this with the advanced version of my Investiture Contest game. Each player has their own sequential objectives to complete. Initially most of these are compatible with those of other players.

10 #MAMG20 But players get drawn into conflict with each other over the course of game as their objectives become more tangled. Initial allies may become rivals as the game progresses. Ultimately, the goal is to complete as many objectives as possible.

11 #MAMG20 But there is no winner. Each player is only in competition with themself. There’s no all or nothing victory condition which fits much better with this more complex view of the Investiture Contest. It’s not about ‘winning’, it’s about doing well.

12 #MAMG20 This more nuanced approach can be modded by students or academics and can form an important step forward in the development of games for teaching and for research. More generally, moving away from game conventions can open up new possibilities for exploring history.


Medievalist and Gaming Tropes

‘Of Knights and Princesses: Gender Roles in “Medieval” Computer Gaming’

Marlene Ernst, University of Salzburg @MAErnst13

1 | #MAMG20 „It’s a me, Mario!“ The modern day gaming knight may have the most unconventional shapes and forms. A knight in shining armour (blue dungarees) whose only mission is to rescue the fair maiden.


| #MAMG20 Games from Nintendo’s Mario series are widely known and available to children from a young age. Although some installments in the genre display female leadership quality, the precursors have a very stereotypical view on women.

3 | #MAMG20 The damsel in distress was a main part for the early gaming generations who then sometimes became developers in their own right in order to bring those gender roles into new media formats and to the next generation audience.

4 | #MAMG20 Through this early exposure to gender stereotypes of supposedly medieval character and narrative patterns the role models of helpless women who have to be rescued from all kinds of evil are solidified and carried into new and more mature genres.

5 | #MAMG20 It still seems necessary for many games to offer scantily clad women into their code as recently spoofed in the Apple series Mythic Quest. A wood nymph is proposed as loot crate in order to incite people to buy a shovel extension. Trailer:

6 | #MAMG20 Most prominent this seems to hold true for app gaming where developing costs are only a fraction of those for larger PC/console productions and you can reach a huge audience every smart phone owner. Here a snapshot of the US market:

7 | #MAMG20 No steep fees nor long delivery times the app gaming market is often based on free/low initial costs, easy access and financing via in app charges or excessive commercials. Potential customers are only one click away from the next gaming fix in between bus stops.

8 | #MAMG20 More often than not set in the RPG and strategic genre, the games are heavily advertised via YouTube and other social media channels and offer through those short glimpses into a very stereotyped pseudo medieval world.

9 | #MAMG20 One prime example being King’s Throne. The additional title is not by chance "Game of Lust" as visualized by several youtube commercials. A compilation of those ads can be found here:

10 | #MAMG20 If one takes a look at the ratings (mainly from men, as far as can be seen from usernames): The action or setting is hardly considered, only the handling of the game and technical issues play a role for them.

11 | #MAMG20 Not really many seem to enjoy the royal delights (819 reviews on IOS and 290 000 on Google Play) but enough to make an impression. And another game of the same ilk (Honor of Kings Epic Heroes) earned following review: “Especially the girls are great.”

12 | #MAMG20 No intrinsic need for historical accuracy or in depth immersion into past worlds but a desire for short time entertainment is the basis for many a game especially in the sector of mobile apps. Realistic female role models are often left behind.


‘The Place of Periodisation:

Strategy Games and the

Daniel Wigmore, University of Southampton. @WigorMortis





1 #MAMG20 Historians have long categorised blocks of time with similar themes into ‘periods’ for ease of coherent examination and better understanding. Such periods have been copied, sometimes inaccurately, sometimes with criticism, by strategy games for ease of play and theme.

2 #MAMG20 Games often present two visions of the Medieval world: the ‘Dark Age’ of muddy peasants, decline and cultural stagnation, and the fantastical ‘Renaissance’ of knights, ladies and castles. Views that bridge this gap and depict without conforming to these ideals are rare.

3 #MAMG20 In reality, this translates to elements of LA, EMA and HMA merged into one 'Dark Age' while HMA, LMA and EMP turn into 'The Renaissance'. Games of course focus on fun but managing the balance between ‘accurate’ portrayals of MA and gameplay progress is difficult to do.

4 #MAMG20 The demand of 4X/strategy games to show development makes the MA an attractive era to base them. In comparison to other historical periods, the MA has a very clear transition over a concise time period that can be exaggerated to make player development more obvious.

5 #MAMG20 The most clear way games show this is visually, primarily through architecture. Earlier ages have a very pessimistic view of EMA architecture compared to latter eras which, in most cases, is to encourage feelings of player development and a signal of their progress.

6 #MAMG20 It is near impossible to depict EMA without a contrast to more advanced periods. Even games that do explicitly depict the EMA peddle stereotypes such as EE/AOE2. The need of games to show player advancement inevitably leads to the LMA being depicted more favourably.

7 #MAMG20 Many games have difficulty depicting the EMA without a connection to Rome’s decline or glorified pictures of the later period. Nearly all scenarios deemed medieval start post 1000AD, or with key features unavailable or blocked off, limiting options for the player.

8 #MAMG20 While it is easy to criticise games for being abstract to the point of absurdity and blatant inaccuracy (looking at you EE) more recent games try to show periods agreeably and attempt to explain the history behind their decisions by ingame encyclopaedias (MED2/CIV/AOE).

9 #MAMG20 All games do to some extent educate as well as entertain, but the perpetuation of negative tropes such as the lack of MA European ‘Wonders’ in RON & EE, or the poor architecture in AOE & EE, damages public understanding of MA. Thankfully, this has started to change.

10 #MAMG20 There has been a more sympathetic vision of the ‘Dark Ages’ in games recently, CIV6 and AOEDE have trended towards a more nuanced image, but at the expense of a blur between the H LMA/EMP and contortion into a Renaissance that's confused at what it’s trying to portray.

11 #MAMG20 Many key developments in the HMA/LMA, such as gunpowder and Gothic architecture, are often transitioned to the Renaissance (CIV5/6) or Gunpowder Ages (RON). These differences can muddy public understanding of the period and distort what it is to be 'Medieval'.

12 #MAMG20 It’ll be interesting to see how future games manage the MA: AOE4 is likely to follow the patterns of previous games & CK3 promises tech by era, but HK’s novel EMP approach will be one to keep an eye on. Modern historiography is slowly overtaking myths in & of MA games.


Miriam Fernández Pérez, Universidad de Cantabria. @MiriamFzPerez

1| #MAMG20 Good day! I'm so happy to talk about “The idealized vision of Medieval Society through the Classes of Characters present in D&D 1st Edition”. This is my first time talking about Games and Middle Ages, so I’ll accept any advice you can give me to dive into this topic!

2| #MAMG20 First things first: Dungeons & Dragons (D&D, from now on) is a role playing game (RPG) created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson back in 1974. In this game, they mixed historical elements (mostly medieval) with fantasy ones. I bet you’ve heard about this game!

3|#MAMG20 In this game, they introduced a concept: classes of characters. In a RPG, a character class means the type of “job” someone does. Depends on which “job”, it gives them some abilities and you have to play your character following some class’s requirements or morals

4| #MAMG20 We have to say that there are plenty editions of D&D. We are only focusing on Advanced D&D 1st Edition (1978). In the first edition they published there are not as many classes as in this other one and it is more difficult to observe the topic we are talking about.

5| #MAMG20 As D&D is set up in a fantasy medieval world (specially the firsts editions), we can see a lot of reminiscences with the social groups we find in the Middle Ages just by looking at the classes, because they are based on archetypal ideas we have from that time.

6| #MAMG20 There is a way we can gather those classes in groups which is similar to the ones we see in a very well known system of orders that we can find in the Middle Ages. Those groups would be: oratores, bellatores and (not as clear as for the case we are into) laboratores.

7| #MAMG20 Of course as we are talking about a game based on a fantasy world where the main goal is to became a hero or a legend, the idea of using a character class based on farmers, shopkeepers or bankers is not as attractive as the other ones. And why is this?

8| #MAMG20 That might be because in the game not only do we find this simplification created by grouping the society into orders (which isn’t a modern idea, but from the Middle Ages), but we also find ideas highlighted and created by the Romanticism of the 18th and 19th century.

9| #MAMG20 It is well known that Romanticism caused such a big idealization and popularity of the Medieval Period in which they captured some topics that still now a days are considered true. But, was there not already an idealization of the society itself in the Middle Ages?

10| #MAMG20 The answer is yes. We could just do a review of the medieval literature, created by and for the nobility (this would need a further explanation but we don't have space) and see how they idealized their own world and they forgot those groups “less interesting”.

11| #MAMG20 In this way, ideas such as the “hero’s adventure”, or the simplification of medieval society are something that arose in the Middle Ages, and are later emphasized with Romanticism. And from there, is from where D&D and its interpretation of classes takes inspiration.

12| #MAMG20 And that’s all! Thank you very much for sticking with me. I hope you spend a great time, and also, I hope I was able to explain this topic or a least present it. I’m looking forward to learn more things about Games and Medieval times! Thanks.

‘The Idealized Vision of Medieval Society through the Classes of Characters present in Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition’

Gender in Medieval Videogames

‘She's a Card: Gender and Identity in Reigns: Her Majesty’ Florence Smith Nicholls, Land Use Consultants, London @florencesn

1 #MAMG20 I’m an #archaeogaming researcher and Reigns Her Majesty (Nerial 2016) made me reconsider what I thought I knew about the medieval period. [CW: sexual assault] [CW: flashing image]

2 #MAMG20 RHM (*2017) is a strategy game with Tinder interface: you swipe left/right on cards to make decisions in a pseudo medieval world. Aim is to balance 4 factions: church, peasants, army, and treasury, or you die. In the original Reigns you were a king now you’re a queen.

3 #MAMG20 In her GDC talk, writer Leigh Alexander explained RHM is based on historical fiction. She didn’t want to make the queen a ‘girl boss,’ rather explore her influence and frustrations through courtly intrigue.

4 #MAMG20 RHM is about medieval archetypes it does not attempt reconstructionist history (Copplestone 2017). I find this useful as a way of exploring contemporary ideas about ‘the medieval.’

5 #MAMG20 Houghton (2019) considers original Reigns as a good simulation of medieval rule, but it pushes a narrative of linear progression from the backwards ‘dark ages’ to enlightenment does RHM do better?

6 #MAMG20 RHM has same core mechanics, but your death and resurrection as subsequent queens has more poignancy as it relates to women’s’ inter generational struggle. The role of magic as female empowerment is also important.

7 #MAMG20 Breuer (2009) and Heng (2003) consider the negative portrayal of feminine magic in medieval texts as potentially correlating with anxieties over women’s increased economic opportunities from the 15th century onwards.

8 #MAMG20 When the Queen encounters the Pagan All Mother in RHM, the display glitches a diegetic reference to a phone. This can be linked to Legacy Russel’s Glitch Feminism and breaking down between irl/url; the glitch and women as disruptive.

9 #MAMG20 The link with tech mysticism is fitting given Leigh Alexander's writing on it, and its contemporary use by women as a source of comfort and guidance:

10 #MAMG20 By playing with the petty underhandedness of queenship, RHM at least moves away from the ‘Disneyfication’ of the Medieval lady (Seale 2018) as a Victorian fantasy of modest, white damsels. (For one thing, you can be queer).

11 #MAMG20 Akard (2018) explains that medieval French courts required women to be “good rape victims,” just as the onus is put on victims now. In this way, we are not ‘better’ than the medieval period. The micro/macroaggressions in RHM elude to this.

12 #MAMG20 RHM allows for a deconstruction of medieval archetypes in the contemporary world, and a reminder that liberal white feminism will not save us. Its not about the cards you are dealt or how you play them it’s wider loops of structural oppression.



Calum Leatham, University of Huddersfield. @CalumLeatham

1) #MAMG20 Japanese dating simulations are video games with a narrative that revolve around dating & romance. They allow players to role play as an individual who explore romantic experiences with multiple characters, typically ending the game in a relationship with one.

2) #MAMG20 The overall complexity of dating sim games is low. The graphics are usually a 2D Manga style and the gameplay and controls typically boil down to a choosing your own adventure by clicking on one of a select number of dialogue options when the narrative demands them.

3) #MAMG20 I’m analysing 3 subgenres of dating sims: Bishōjo, usually aimed towards men and typically have erotic content. Otome, primarily aimed towards women and a focus on conventional romantic narratives. Yuri, which feature Lesbian relationships, aimed at all genders.

4) #MAMG20 How do dating sims relate to medieval game studies? My thesis is about how the medieval is depicted & used to explore & debate female identities and social ideologies surrounding women specifically, how medievalism is used to analyse women in Japanese pop culture.

5) #MAMG20 For 50 years Japanese media has drawn upon traditional ideas of medieval Europe to analyse Japanese women, a theme dating sims inherited. E.g. the manga Princess Knight (1953) has a heroine who cross dresses as a prince, struggling to identify with either gender.

6) #MAMG20 Using fantasy and pop culture to explore gender, significantly, is a very medieval premise. Princess Knight and the dating sims that feature cross dressing are similar in narrative to 13th century medieval romance Le Roman de Silence, exploring nature vs nurture.

7) #MAMG20 I am not suggesting that Silence directly inspired Princess Knight or cross dressed Japanese heroines. However, the parallel between the medieval and modern pop culture signifies the timeless act of using fantasy to examine contemporary ideology and identities.

8) #MAMG20 There already exists a sizable study of popular medieval romances & medievalism in gaming. Nevertheless, like some ‘ugly ducklings’ in medieval pulp fiction see N. McDonald , dating sims have been ignored by scholars, possibly due to its typically sexual content.

9) #MAMG20 E.g. the Japanese Bishōjo game Evenicle uses the medieval to explore female identities from a male perspective focusing on male wish fulfilment. The narrative revolves around a male protagonist Aster and his quest to become a knight and sleep with multiple women.

10) #MAMG20 The Yuri dating sim Sakura MMO’s narrative revolves around the female protagonist Kotone & Eleri who are transported into a medieval fantasy realm where they are free to explore their identity away from modern Japan with aspects of male and female wish fulfilment.

11) #MAMG20 Finally, the otome game Princess Arthur in which Alu, a teenage girl, becomes King Arthur, joining and dating the knights of the round table. All while Alu explores the benefits of being a woman in charge and the important role women play in relationships.

12) #MAMG20 Highlighting dating sims demonstrates contemporary alternative uses of medievalism in modern media. Yet, despite this, there is almost no previous scholarship surrounding them. Through my analysis I hope to inspire future examinations of more ‘ugly duckling’ games.

the next king of the land this little girl?”: The Representation of Medieval Women in East Asian Dating simulations’

Marie Luise Meier, University of Tartu @MarieLuiseMeier

1 #MAMG20 He dreams to be a knight; she is the miller’s daughter, tells us Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Without historical authenticity, we have Dragon Age’s spectrum of gender roles. Does only fantasy give possibilities for female empowerment in games with a medieval setting?

2 #MAMG20 Empowerment means that female characters have access to the same opportunities as males, esp. in education, profession & lifestyle. Because games show metamorphoses twofold, narrative development and ludic (gaining levels/classes, story options etc.) must be considered.

3 #MAMG20 Does fantasy automatically lead to female empowerment? Girl Power Movement icons such as Buffy and Xena rely on fantasy. But traditionally, fantasy has been a male genre, filled out by the male desire to become a hero, as in e.g. Lord of the Rings.

4 #MAMG20 KC:D doesn’t claim historical accuracy in all parts: “[KC:D] would be too boring or too difficult.” But it is as unrealistic as the hero’s journey gets: A blacksmith’s son gets a fancy sword and revenges his parent’s death (using fantasy style alchemy + swordfighting).

5 #MAMG20 The first women introduced are the king’s playmates, followed by Henry’s mother: the classic dichotomy of mother vs object of desire. The mother is defined through her role as such. She has no name (his father does) and must die, so Henry’s revenge story can progress.

6 #MAMG20 Theresa’s role is that of the love interest, and only that. She is introduced with Henry’s PoV shot on her behind. She must be saved from rape and courted with flowers. Henry has dreams. He uses his grief over the death of his parents as a driving force; she just caves.

7 #MAMG20 The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is heavily infused with fantasy. Witchers are traditionally male, sorceresses are traditionally female. Both are powerful. While most protagonists fit the world’s gendered categories, Ciri is special and introduced as a young, capable warrior.

8 #MAMG20 She can be played and hones her skills (e.g. teleport, slowing time). She even has alternative endings to her story: being dead or alive, becoming witcher or empress. What weakens her as a female character is the way her story is told: it’s exclusively told by others.

9 #MAMG20 Dragon Age: Inquisition is full of fantasy and empowered female characters such as seeker Cassandra, who is introduced as empowered. She can become a fighter or a protector as well as the new Divine, which is a female institutionalized counterpart to the Catholic pope.

10 #MAMG20 In conclusion, it appears that the higher the amount of fantasy in a game, the more empowered female characters are. However, I would argue that the possibility for empowerment of female characters is not sorely based on fantasy. It is a mixture of two things:

11 #MAMG20 1) the right placing of fantasy elements and 2) the characterization of female characters. A Plague Tale: Innocence, set in 1348 France, shows this. The young protagonist cannot become a knight because of the authentic restrictions of the time, but she has aspirations.

12 #MAMG20 She wants empowerment and the world’s design uses fantasy so that it allows her to become the hero in a David vs Goliath plot. If historical games place inaccuracies differently, this could indeed lead to female empowerment in an otherwise authentic medieval framework.

‘From virgins and victims to heroines and heretics: Fantasy as a tool for female empowerment in contemporary medieval roleplay games’

Medieval Games Beyond Western Europe

‘When Chinese gamers encounter Crusader Kings II’ Zhang Xiaoyu, Shanghai International Studies University @ClaraZh46278180

1 #MAMG20 In recent years, Crusader KingⅡ(CKII)has imbued the designs with some oriental elements to attract more players. With the Jade Dragon DLC, China has been introduced to gamers. As a big fan, I’m excited and curious about China displayed in it.

2 #MAMG20 Admittedly, the designers have done the research of Chinese culture with care and built a complex system based on it. For instance, the archetype of armours in the game (P1) can be found in Illustrate Ancient Chinese Armour (P2).

3 #MAMG20 However, some Chinese customers still feel confused and embarrassed about some oriental designs. Why do they feel alienated from the Chinese culture? What kinds of image of China are portrayed conventionally in the occidental thought?

4 #MAMG20 What has disrupted a natural understanding towards China? With three principles of Michel Foucault’s heterotopia, the paper aims to answer the questions above.

5 #MAMG20 To begin with, the separated location and superficial functions of China in the game unveil the essence of heterotopia. Either in administrative systems or religions, it is totally different from the western countries based on Christianity.

6 #MAMG20 In CKII, a legitimate heir can inherit the title of his father. However, in Chinese culture, even benefiting from emperor’s favour, the heir inherits an inferior title to his father, while the elite talents of humble origins grasp some opportunities.

7 #MAMG20 Besides, though designers have studied relevant histories and novels, the heroes have been transformed into thunderbolts, thus misleading and confusing the Chinese players, which reflects the westerners’ alienation and misunderstandings to China as a heterotopia.

8 #MAMG20 Song Jiang: in this game, he is characterized as the captain of these outlaws fighting for money. In Water Margin, he is considered as the leader of the 108 Stars of Destiny fighting against the unjust officials. Here is a poem from his biography.

9 #MAMG20 Lin Chong: in this game, Li Kui outperforms him in terms of leadership (34vs12). In Water Margin, on the contrary, his nickname “Panther Head” is mainly derived from his strategies and appearance, while Li Kui ends up with Song Jiang’s plots.

10 #MAMG20 In addition, the demonized power of China demonstrates the illusion and compensation of the heterotopia. Failing to achieve their ambitions, the players can seek help from the omnipotent China, which is hailed as invincible in the game.

11 #MAMG20 When the ruler has accumulated 5000 Grace, he can ask for favours within the limit of some restrictions. One of them is that “target has more than 40 counties in his realm”, which could prove the power of Chinese armies to some extent.

12 #MAMG20 In a nutshell, to the occidental world, China bears some resemblance to the heterotopia, which disrupts their heuristic to the essence of Chinese culture and leads to distorted elements in the game. Well, that's all. Thanks for listening.


‘"Promoting our History": Representations of the Past in Kingdom Come: Deliverance’

Jan Kremer, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague. @_ubique

1 #MAMG20 Being a novice in game studies my paper is a discussion on how to approach study of historical games. My project focuses on KCD, game which provoked debates and controversies before its release. German gaming magazine even contacted medievalists to analyze the game.

2 #MAMG20 In the Czeh rep. the controversy was hardly mentioned. KCD received unprecedented coverage. Mainstream media reporting about a digital game for the first time focused mainly on revenues and presentation of Czech rep. in the world. There was sense of national pride.

3 #MAMG20 In 2018 a medievalist in Brno focused in her lecture on political views of KCD creative director and accused him and the game i.a. of anti German tendencies and sexism. She also openly declared she didn't play KCD and made factual mistakes about its content.

4 #MAMG20 The developer, who often criticizes universities esp. humanities, made (Czech) YT video where he refused all criticism, accused historian of dilettantism and declared he considers filing a lawsuit. The video has 160.000 views after 2 mo. and 2.600 affirmative comments.

5 #MAMG20 The dispute is too complex to cover here but it polarized both sides and diverted the attention from the game to ad hominem level. Some KCD supporters publicly or via email attacked the historian, often based on her gender, even threatened her with violence and death.

6 #MAMG20 The central problem are concepts of historical accuracy, realism or authenticity, i.e. one of main selling points of KCD. When even a scholarly study can't ever fully record and undestand the past (Čornej), then there's no such thing as historically accurate game.

7 #MAMG20 The authenticity paradox is even more problematic in open world RPGs, realist historical simulations with reconstructionist approach (Chapman). Moreover, KCD takes place inbetween recorded historical events focusing on "undocumented" but complex everyday realities.

8 #MAMG20 Developers talking about authenticity usually mention visible material representations (architecture, weapons, clothing). But there are game wise crucial concepts like mental worlds of the common people literally inaccessible even for scholars due to lack of cources.

9 #MAMG20 Authenticity paradox gets more prominent in Czech rep. where KCD developer presents the game as promotion of "our history unknown abroad". But 14th and 15th c. are ones of the most internationally researched eras in Czech history, esp. among contemporary medievalist.

10 #MAMG20 To analyze KCD you need medievalists but they can't be fact checkers. The historical authenticity can't be defined as historical accuracy but as "believability or versimilitude a sense of genuineness of ‚medieval‘" (Clements) for the modern audience living in 2020s.

11 #MAMG20 There are inspiring ways how to analyze KCD and reflect its place in the gaming culture: Memory culture (Halbwachs, Assmann) focused on Czech environment, reserach of historical stereotypes (Rak) or auto stereotypes (Holý); or Medievalism with its international context

12 #MAMG20 Reflecting being a medievalist working on a archaeological project focused on Sázava monastery, but also a gamer and one of 35.000 Kickstarter backers of KCD, I can analyze this game by respecting the genre and debating my affection for both my research and games.


Magic, Medicine, and Religion

‘“I have seen the throne of the gods, and it was empty”: Approximations of Religious Thought and Practice in Medievalist Games’ Victoria Cooper. @DrSyrin

1 #MAMG20 Religion is a key element of medieval worldbuilding. Popular audiences see religion as a crucial, inescapable part of the Middle Ages. Across medievalist media, ideas of religious anti intellectualism and excess church power are used as markers of premodernity.

2 #MAMG20 In medieval games (which typically focus on Europe), we generally see Christian (or analogous) constructions. Typically, religions are shown in dichotomy: large political entity (external power) vs set of beliefs with less interest in social control (internal power).

3 #MAMG20 Key point: large scale organised religion is typically portrayed as negative, explicitly political, sometimes tyrannical, while personal ministry, individual faith and spiritual tradition tend to have more sympathetic portrayals.

4 #MAMG20 The Sims Medieval caricatures this paradigm in a useful way with its 2 religious factions. The humble Peterans are monastic, studious and preach the love of god. Conversely, the decadent Jacobans control through fear and shame, and can absolve sins for cash.

5 #MAMG20 We see a similar pattern in games with more complex worldbuilding. In Dragon Age, the Chantry is a highly organised political entity that wields significant power. It has called crusades and pogroms and uses dogma to justify its continued subjugation of mages.

6 #MAMG20 E.g. from DA Alistair: naïve Templar (the military arm of the Chantry), resents his institutional upbringing and the work of the Chantry. Leliana: devout believer with a personal relationship with the Maker, but similarly critical of the Chantry’s oppressive dogma.

7 #MAMG20 Organised religion as political entity with little investment in faith is seen most clearly in strategy games: belief is entirely unimportant, and the Church is just another political faction with which to exercise power & earn relationship points. (Cf. @historicus_rex)

8 #MAMG20 The Witcher series is similarly sceptical of organised religion & connects it with anti intellectualism. The Church of Eternal Fire, for example, is decadent, fanatical, and corrupt, with a military arm that pursues supernatural beings sometimes including witchers!

9 #MAMG20 A key issue here, esp. in fantasy, is the mechanics of supernatural power. Furthermore, players sometimes interact directly with gods. Distinguishing between miracles and magic and portraying complexity and multiplicity in faith and practice is hard in this environment.

10 #MAMG20 The MA is inseparably connected with religiosity in the modern imagination. This isn’t bad or unfair, but reductionism in religious portrayals serves to reinforce ideas of intellectual darkness and religious tyranny commonly associated with the era. See common memes:


11 #MAMG20 Religion and spirituality are important elements of the MA, but the Corrupt Church vs Jolly Monk model is reductionist & problematic (without even mentioning non Xian models!). So, how can we worldbuild with (medieval) religion in a more sophisticated way?


‘Eternal Youth and the Fight Against Death: What A Plague Tale: Innocence and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Teach Us About (Im)Mortality’

Lysiane Lasausse, University of Helsinki @nordllys

1 #MAMG20 The Viking & French Middle Ages historically had different visions of life and death. However, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and A Plague Tale: Innocence are here to show us that (im)mortality, redemption and the chase of eternality may be time /spaceless pursuits.

2 #MAMG20 In #Hellblade, Pict warrior Senua is on a mission to recover Dillion's her lover soul from Viking hell, Helheim. Hela, the ruler of the realm, is the only one who can bring him back a power borrowed from Norse mythology.

3 #MAMG20 Hela shows Senua that Dillion was not meant to be saved, and that she has to come to terms with his death, as well as her own trauma and psychosis. In Viking culture, death was unavoidable, and no one was supposed to come back (not even gods, see the story of Baldr).

4 #MAMG20 This contrasts with the setting of A Plague Tale: Innocence, set in 1348 France. Heroes Amicia and Hugo escape from the Inquisition to seek help for Hugo's illness, an evil power believed to be responsible for the hordes of plague rats taking over Aquitaine.

5 #MAMG20 Grand Inquisitor Vitalis Bénévent covets Hugo's powers to cure himself of The Bite (the plague). Mad with power, he also seeks to control the plague rats to establish a new world order and ascend to a god like status. The church banishes him and the heroes defeat him.

6 #MAMG20 Although set in two different timelines and spaces, the stories of Hellblade and A Plague Tale bring forward the ancestral fear of death, and the race against human temporariness.

7 #MAMG20 Playing with the concepts of light and darkness, both games reverse these notions' roles. In Hellblade, Senua delves into the shadows of Hell to find a reason to keep fighting. She faces her own darkness, her illness, to begin grieving for her lost love.

8 #MAMG20 In A Plague Tale, the Catholic church, overtaken by Vitalis' lust for power, reminds us of the bloody history of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. The game reminds us through religious zealotry and superstitions of the human propensity to turn to the dark side.

9 #MAMG20 Most importantly, these games bring us closer to the Middle Ages. As a historical period that is often portrayed as superstitious and in opposition to the intellectual Age of Enlightenment, modern culture tends to distance itself from this era.

10 #MAMG20 But these games establish a point of contact with this time period, to remind us that perhaps it is not, spiritually, as far as we’d like to believe. The light/dark, good/bad dichotomy is ever present, and the need for control over death is still a major concern.

11 #MAMG20 Medieval fears and superstitions around death still exist. These games appeal to our idea of medieval fantasy, but also bring the medieval concerns back to us: diseases, life after death... The underlying message is that we lack control over our mortal enemy.

12 #MAMG20 Perhaps these stories resonate with us, now more than ever, because of like the heroes of Hellblade and APTI, we keep fighting for our light to perhaps finally triumph over the darkness of death.


‘Medievalisms, Magic, and Macula: Encountering the medieval and the modern in Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Innocence’

Liam McLeod, University of Birmingham. @LiamMcLeod_e Catherine Watts, University of Cambridge. @catchantwatts

1 #MAMG20 Afternoon all! Co presenting with @catchantwatts so we don’t have much space, do check our image descriptions for more detail! @AsoboStudio's @APlagueTale is set in 14th century Aquitaine, amid plague and war. We follow Amicia and Hugo de Rune. CW: Spoilers+BodyHorror

2 #MAMG20 We're going to start by looking at how the game's topographical and iconographical choices, though appearing medieval at a glance, are rooted in familiar, modern fantasy worldscapes. The example I'll be using here is the so called 'village' near the de Rune homestead.

3 #MAMG20 The size of village is key. When later we see its entirety, the village appears more like a large medieval town. The size inconsistency isn't a mistake though: Asobo is offering familiar vistas in a visual language which evokes scenes which *feel* authentic.

4 #MAMG20 This vista is seen at the monastery of the three saints, where we encounter a real shift away from what *appears* authentically medieval into a true dark fantasy. As we reach the apse of the chapel, we see that the ‘three saints’ are in fact the de Rune's themselves.

5 #MAMG20 This dip into a fantasy visual language is important for what happens next in the game as we delve into the monastery. The rats, it seems, are more than just rats, and their collections of human body parts in the crypt evokes the sense of stepping into a literal hell.

6 #MAMG20 Death is the de Rune children's constant companion in their quest to save each other. Amicia takes her first life before entering the monastery, and the iconography of that death follows the two as they are led by Father Thomas through dark corridors.

7/12 #MAMG20 If medieval iconography makes the landscape legible, modern mechanics make it navigable and give it powerful affective properties. Legible guidance in medieval manuscript becomes an affective warning in the toolkit of the modern game.

8/12 #MAMG20 Important to these early levels is the use of light to create contrast which guides the player’s actions, introducing linearity to what might otherwise be an overwhelmingly rich landscape. Light is used affectively to direct instinctual movement in chase sequences.

9/12 #MAMG20 PT:I makes this guidance explicit in the next chapter, introducing the mechanic whereby light repels the flesh eating rats. Light is “highly visible but uninformative” (Vincent et al) in traditional media; PT:I leads the player to enact their relationship to light.

10/12 #MAMG20 An implicit value system of light is created through the player’s participation. Light is understood as a goal, a tool, and a form of protection, calling back to Ch.1 where the idyllic autumnal light indicated that perhaps we’d be telling a different kind of story.

11/12 #MAMG20 PT:I forces attentiveness to the mechanism of your navigation and endows it with affective value. When Amicia and Hugo begin to commit atrocities to survive, light takes on a moral ambivalence which mirrors the protagonists’ journey.

12/12 #MAMG20 PT:I is a dark musing on the human condition made legible through medieval iconography and modern mechanics. As the player embodies Amicia, they stand with one foot in the dark, the value of their only path medieval in its moral ambivalence.


Playing The Crusades

‘Crusading Icons: Tropes of Crusader Authenticity in Digital Games’ Mike Horswell. @mjhorswell

1 #MAMG20 Welcome all! I’m a historian who works on perceptions of the crusades in the modern era. I increasingly think that games along with films & TV shows can be considered as a primary source for forming what the crusades are thought to be. How so?

2 #MAMG20 The crusades and crusaders are common features of medievalesque digital games. Crusading in games, however, usually consists of bitesize ‘icons’, or tropes, of crusader medievalism. Icons, because they stand symbolically for larger sets of meanings.

3 #MAMG20 @t_winnerling has talked about the development of a ‘historicised iconography’ for historical games more broadly, and we see this with the crusades. Crusading is disassembled into icons & deployed in games in fact, across modern mass media entertainment.

4 #MAMG20 @AndrewBRElliott & I have suggested that crusading has popularly become a self reinforcing brand of medievalism. The repetition of these icons shapes & fulfils expectations of what crusading is thought to be, generating ‘affective authenticity’.

5 #MAMG20 Ok, so what are some of these ‘icons’, and what do they do? I’ve chosen three: 1) the crusader knight, 2) the ‘clash of civilisations’, and 3) occult Templars.

6 #MAMG20 1) Crusader Knight: With a red cross on a white background across his chest, the mailed crusader knight is a ubiquitous figure which transcends popular culture and digital games. @DrSyrin has traced the crusader/paladin type in RPGs beyond ‘crusading’ games.

7 #MAMG20 The distinctive assemblage of cross, & armour can function as a symbol of Christian militancy, unstoppable zeal, uncompromising purity, chivalric masculinity, or combination of these. They also seep into non crusading games through visual mods.

8 #MAMG20 2) Clash of Civilisations: The mechanics of many crusading games, especially strategy games, replicate the logic of the ‘clash of civilisations’ paradigm which has framed the crusades as binary contests of monolithic religio cultural civilisations.

9 #MAMG20 E.g. East vs West, or Christians vs Muslims. This simplifies and explains the crusades as inevitable outbreaks of violence and the ‘natural’ product of civilisational encounter, and provides an ideal setting for games of conquest between two opposed forces.

10 #MAMG20 3) Occult Templars: Associations between crusading and occult mysticism tend to flow through the Templar Knights a crusading military order and a staple of conspiracy theorists and Umberto Eco’s ‘lunatics’. Templars + grail = …

11 #MAMG20 Crusading icons are atomised, bitesize pieces of popular culture medievalism an access point to the broader, more complex historical reality of the medieval crusades. They provide a buffet of crusade themed ‘affective authenticity’ for ‘historical’ games.

12 #MAMG20 Their frequent repetition heightens their association with crusading, setting the expectations of players and reinforcing existing perceptions. E.g. Thanks for tuning in feel free to ask about specific examples or any other questions!


in Dante's Inferno’

Katherine J. Lewis, University of Huddersfield. @drkjlewis

1 #MAMG20 I work on depictions of crusading masculinities in narratives medieval & modern, examining the socio cultural contexts in which they’re produced & the ideological purposes which they serve. Hence my interest in Dante’s Inferno (2010) & its place within this discourse.

2 #MAMG20 There’s been analysis of Dante’s masculinity in relation to the game’s use of the original poem Inferno & of broader medieval motifs. But not of the role of D’s Third Crusade backstory, nor how this setting informs the representation & evolution of his gender identity.

3 #MAMG20 DI fits into established convention whereby crusading is not the main focus but an experiential backdrop suffusing the protagonist’s subsequent character & actions; affecting those to whom he returns. This aligns the game with Robin Hood who has become a Third Crusader.

4 #MAMG20 As in Robin & Marian (1976) & Robin Hood (2010) in DI the Massacre at Acre is shorthand for the essentially brutal, immoral & hypocritical nature of crusading; thus reflecting wider popular opinions & highlighting the cultural currency of this notorious event.

5 #MAMG20 The Massacre is pivotal: instigated by D’s anger, the culmination of his surrender to bodily passions, hypocritically indulged under papal indulgence. The game hinges on D’s status as a man; his passage through Hell becomes a recuperation of his vitiated masculinity.

6 #MAMG20 We witness D’s past via the cloth cross he stitches to his chest (a great narrative ploy, I wish I could say more about it!) He relives his sinful & essentially unmanly conduct & its terrible consequences for those he loves, especially Beatrice & her brother Francesco.

7 #MAMG20 D’s actions on crusade rebound on him: B is killed because of his lust (& Lucifer enslaves her), F takes the blame for the Massacre & is hanged while D cravenly flees. D has violated virtuous norms & is incapable of exercising self mastery, thus he goes to Hell.

8 #MAMG20 Initially D abnegates responsibility: he had absolution for his sins so was licensed to indulge them. Francesco repeatedly questions this view (& is a principled foil to D), but only in Hell does D comprehend the Church’s innate fraudulence & his own gullibility.

9 #MAMG20 D also blames nurture: brought up by a dissolute father who drove his mother to suicide, thus doomed to become his father. But his father is also in Hell & points out the fallacy of this: D had free will & could have behaved honourably. The fault is D’s alone.

10 #MAMG20 D finally takes responsibility for his debased manhood, accepting damnation. B is released; D is empowered to defeat Lucifer & escapes Hell. Redemption strips D of his crusader apparel; his sins & gendered transgressions expunged he emerges naked into Purgatory.

11 #MAMG20 DI is a compelling expression of certain perceptions both of crusading & masculinity & their interrelationship, dramatizing the destructive effects of rampant masculinity on victims & perpetrator. D learns that true manhood lies in surmounting not indulging passions.

12 #MAMG20 But progressive readings are problematic: D is an avatar of unabashedly violent medieval manhood. Does playing D really invite reflection on the patriarchal hierarchies which enabled his atrocities, or just reinforce their pernicious ideological & socio cultural sway?

‘I'm not responsible for the man you are! Crusading and Masculinities


New Knights Templar for the New Apocalypse: The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout

Thomas Lecaque, Grand View University. @tlecaque


1/ #MAMG20 The influence of neomedievalism in first person video games is everywhere, but particularly prevalent in Bethesda Games be it Skyrim or Wolfenstein or #Fallout4. Umberto Eco, who coined the term, thought “fantastic neomedievalism” was garbage, that the “avalanche of

2/ #MAMG20 pseudo medieval pulp in paperbacks, midway between Nazi nostalgia and occultism” was not an area for academic study. He’s wrong on that last part, but unfortunately not on how Bethesda has used neomedieval tropes in their games. The Brotherhood of Steel in the #Fallout

3/ #MAMG20 series is pure neomedievalism “knights” & “paladins” following a code, wearing massive suits of armor, fighting under the symbol of the sword & gear, they are a military order austere in lifestyle, focused on mission, ready for combat. See

4/ #MAMG20 In Fallout 3, they change from the covert, technocratic and techno hoarding nature to becomes heroes paladins in the chanson de geste kind of way, resembling more a science fiction Knights of the Round Table than in other games. This was 2008. The BoS and the Enclave, 5/ #MAMG20 villains of Fallouts 1 3, are mirrored opposites, different visions of the post apocalyptic evolution of a retrofuturistic US military. In 3 the Enclave offers the option of committing mass genocide throughout the Capital Wasteland, clearly an evil choice but 1 of many 6/ #MAMG20 genuinely monstrous options offered as “lolz”. In to 2011 and #Skyrim, also written by Emil Pagliarulo, one of the main factions in the game, the Stormcloaks, advocate ethnic cleansing. The Stormcloaks are important because they become the intellectual forefathers of

7/ #MAMG20 the Brotherhood of Steel in #Fallout4 separatists who are also Nordic supremacists who want to cleanse the land of all mer (elves, Khajit, Argonians, etc.) Ethnic cleansing as play. The Brotherhood in #Fallout4, released Nov. 2015, is the Stormcloak ideology realized, 8/ #MAMG20 They become the crusaders (see of the post Gamergate world where the alt right began increasingly relying on memes and online trolling to recruit and bolster their movement. This Brotherhood maintains the neomedieval aesthetic but flips the

9/ #MAMG20 benevolent knighthood of the Fallout 3 into the violence of the Knights Templar of Kingdom of Heaven or an alt right meme. That neomedieval knightly aesthetic meets a clash of civilizations with an invasion of the Commonwealth under a charismatic leader with a massive

10/ #MAMG20 zeppelin, the Prydwen, & a messiah complex as Arthur Maxson says in Fallout 3, “ You see, I am descended from the great Roger Maxson, founder of our order. I am the last of his line. They say my soul was forged from eternal steel...” His mission is human supremacy &

11/ #MAMG20 ethnic cleansing of the Commonwealth, and there’s no in game indication that the Brotherhood are seen as villains for this they are portrayed as heroic knights. The ethnic cleansing is of super mutants, ghouls, synths, often but not exclusively used as villains.

12/ #MAMG20 This vision of the Brotherhood is the Knights Templar as seen by the far right heroic defenders of humanity against other sentient races in game, but used IRL to defend notions of whiteness constructed along the Nazi nostalgia Eco warned about. And that’s the problem.


Closing Address

Robert Houghton, University of Winchester. @robehoughton

1/22 (sorry) #MAMG20 This has been great. We’ve had technical glitches, time zone issues, and challenging weather, but almost all our papers have run successfully. We’ve had speakers from 14 countries from China to Estonia to Brazil.

2 #MAMG20 We’ve had a series of incredible papers addressing a vast range of research on games and the Middle Ages. If you’ve missed any of them, I strongly suggest you take a look at @MidAgesModGames and #MAMG20

3 #MAMG20 It’s been a challenging format, to fit a cogent academic argument into 12 Tweets is as hard as I anticipated (and I’m breaking that rule in this thread). But we’ve seen a lot of impressive approaches to this restriction and I really appreciate everyone's efforts.

4 #MAMG20 At least four themes have emerged over the last four days: Firstly: This is a young field. The majority of our speakers have been postgrad students or Early Career Researchers and we’ve seen a lot of engagement from undergrad and pre uni students.

5 #MAMG20 This makes the papers all the more impressive and underlines the future potential of the field. The contributions of more established academics highlights that the study of the Middle Ages in Modern Games is increasingly taken seriously in some parts of the academy.

6 #MAMG20 Secondly: This is a diverse field. We’ve had contributions from historians, literary scholars, archaeologists, game designers, media scholars, sound engineers and more. We need to talk between institutions and between disciplines.

7 #MAMG20 We also need to do more to ensure that voices from all parts of the world and all sections of society are heard. We’ve managed some important steps towards that in this conference, but need to do more.

8 #MAMG20 Thirdly: some old bugbears are alive and well. The use and misuse of claims to accuracy and authenticity is present across genres and audiences. Gaming and medievalist tropes meet and exaggerate and distort each other.

9 #MAMG20 These issues have rightly been addressed in many ways throughout the conference. It’s important to continue to highlight them and their causes, but also to consider ways in which they can be and have been overcome (as many of our speakers have done).

10 #MAMG20 Finally: despite their many pitfalls, games can be incredibly useful tools for presenting the Middle Ages whether inside or outwith the academy. We just need to address their selection, use and creation critically.

11 #MAMG20 In sum: I’m cautiously positive about the state of the field. We face many practical challenges, but our papers this week have demonstrated the vibrance and versatility of current study and huge potential for future development.

12 #MAMG20 I need to thank @DrSyrin and @NiHuMedieval for all their help in organising this event, and our planned strands for @TheMamoConf and @IMC_Leeds. They’ve done a huge amount in very challenging circumstances and the result has been incredible.

13 #MAMG20 We also owe a debt of gratitude to @stuffofwar and @laurasharrison in particular for their advice on creating a Twitter conference. If you’ve not done so already, you should definitely have a look at their work:

14 #MAMG20 I personally need to thank @polymorph_games for letting us use images from the beautiful and excellent @Foundationgame. You can find the game here:

34 and a guide from @WorldofKeralis here: aEU

15 #MAMG20 I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read any/all of our papers and to engage with them. We’ve seen some very useful discussion and over 1,200 people have engaged with at least some element of the event.

16 #MAMG20 Most of all, I need to thank all of our speakers. I’ve been overwhelmed by the depth and quality of these papers. We’ll be posting a list of their Twitter handles through the @MidAgesModGames account shortly and I suggest you follow all of them.

17 #MAMG20 The conference is sponsored by @PublicMedieval. You can find their games column here: I strongly encourage all of our speakers to consider pitching any of their ideas to the editors.

18 #MAMG20 We’re also sponsored by @CMRR_Winchester in @WinchesterHist. It’s a great place to study history especially the Middle Ages and it's not too late to apply for our BA courses this year: hons history/

19 #MAMG20 We also run an excellent Masters in history: history/. Contact for Undergraduate, for Masters. Find us @WinchesterHist and Facebook @uowhistorydept.

20 #MAMG20 As to next steps, the papers will be collated and posted to the @_UoW website for ease of reference. We’ll post links from the @MidAgesModGames account when the document goes up. Copyright remains with individual authors.

21 #MAMG20 Many of our speakers are presenting at #IMC2020 @DrSyrin has put together an excellent guide: The conference is free this year and it’s well worth registering.

22 #MAMG20 Beyond that, thank you all again for making this work so much better than I ever could have hoped. Oh, and keep an eye out for our upcoming Calls for Papers for #MAMG21, #MAMO2021 and #IMC2021. Next year will be even bigger and better.


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Articles inside

Closing Address

pages 38-40

‘I'm not responsible for the man you are! Crusading and Masculinities in Dante's Inferno’

page 36


page 34

‘A New Knights Templar for the New Apocalypse: The Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4’

page 37

Us About (Im)Mortality’

page 33

‘"Promoting our History": Representations of the Past in Kingdom Come: Deliverance’

page 31


page 26


page 28

medieval roleplay games’

page 29

‘"The Triumphs of Turlough": a scholarly videogame about Medieval Ireland’

pages 21-22

‘“Akritas” : Playing at Byzantine Borders’

page 19

‘“Losing is Fun”: Asymmetric Rules and Play for Teaching and Research’

page 23

‘The Place of Periodisation: Strategy Games and the management of Medieval ‘Ages’’

page 25

‘Rosemary RPG as a study proposal for the history teaching of the Hundred Years’ War’

page 18

‘Playing with Medieval Drama Soundscapes: evocation, recreation and artistic practice’

page 13

‘Hearing Problems: Sounding Medieval in Video Games’

page 14

Blood and Wine”’

page 8

‘Medieval Strategy Videogames: The tenuous balance between historical representation and playability’

page 16

‘The Troll of High Hrothgar: Ludic pacing and Norse medievalism in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’

page 7

‘Medievalist mechanics: digital humanities and game design’ from

page 10

‘Digital Feudalism: The Historical Problem Spaces of Rulership in Three Medieval Videogames’

page 11

Opening Statement

page 5
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