In this weeks bulletin, we discuss the Bannerlord Early Access Updates, a virtual excavation in Minecraft Education, the Civ VI June Update, Taiwan Cooper rip-offs, the Black Trowel Collective Microgrants, a podcast on Archaeogaming, the free game AER on Epic Games and a new project on the NES and History!
Bannerlord Early Acces Update
Last week, Taleworlds posted an update on their Early Access game Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, which has been out in the world for over eleven weeks. In those eleven weeks, the team has released 78 patches and fixes in total. Most of those patches have fixed some major bugs and increased the performance of the game. But Taleworlds has also added new quests, extra (female) characters and the option to create your own kingdom outside of the main story line (which is not the best to be fair). In the future, the team mainly wants to focus on bettering the performance and stability for singleplayer, whilst mainly rebalancing the multiplayer aspects. Also, they are releasing limited modding tools (finally!), with some documentation on how to mod (not that it hasn’t been done yet). Read the whole update here!
Virtual excavation in Minecraft!
Anna (@Archaeolologist on Twitter) made a very cool virtual field school in Minecraft Education! She based her virtual recreation on the 4040 north area of Çatalhöyük in Turkey. The site is home to a densly packed Neolithic settlement which dates back over 9000 years. It is most famous for its two mounds. If you want to play the map, contact Anna on Twitter!
Civ VI June Update
The June update of Civ VI has just gone live. There are plenty of patches, mostly some quality of life updates. You can read an overview of all the changes on Strategy Gamer here! In addition to the patch, a new season of Red Death has gone live, with some new factions (zombies and aliens) in the game mode. Also, Sean Bean will narrate the new season! Check out a video on the update below!
Can you guess these badly described games?
Chris Kohler of Kotaku wrote a feature on the 1980’s bootleg Atari 2600 cartridges called ‘Taiwan Cooper’. The cartridges were knock-offs of both popular games (such as Space Invaders) and the more obscure games I have never heard of. No one has a clue who made the cartridges, but they were all made in Taiwan, and all use the Cooper Black font (hence the name). More fun, the cartridges all featured their own cover-art and descriptions of the game. The descriptions are as if someone has watched the game and tried to make sense of what was happening. Can you guess them all? Go over to Kotaku and test your game knowledge!
Black Trowel Collective Microgrants
The Black Trowel Collective launched a system of microgrants for students of archaeology from working-class and historically looted communities. The collective recognizes that academia in its current form is ethnicity, class, and gender-biased and discourages or even effectively forbids minorities and people from working classes from attending programs by enforcing prohibitively high tuition fees, expensive mandatory field schools and ignoring the often harsh reality of these students’ lives outside of the academic bubble. By giving out Microgrants, the collective hopes to help students who are having troubles fighting these biases and slowly but surely erode the barriers for future generations! Check more on the Microgrants, how they work, how to apply and how to support the Collective here!
Retro-games & Archaeogaming podcast: John Aycock
In the podcast What the Tech run by the University of Calgary, John Aycock talks about retrogaming and archaeogaming. Even though Aycocks main field of work is computer security, he looks to old games as well. By doing so, he crosses into the fields of history and archaeology as well. Listen to the whole podcast here!
AER Memories of Old free on Epic Games
The open world adventure game AER Memories of Old is free to download from the Epic Games Store this week! In AER you can transform into a bird and discover floating islands in the sky. Step by step, ruin by ruin, you discover more of the world, and the secrets that will help save reality. Check it out here!
Talking NES and History
A new project by the CSULB Center for the History of Video Games and Critical Play looks at games with historical elements from the NES. Every two weeks they’ll explore a new game and try to analyze its place in American history/culture. Also check out the companion piece on https://www.criticalplay.org/ and watch the video below!