Video games are a global phenomenon. As discussed on this website before, many Western made video games propagate certain tropes and prejudices about non-Western cultures and histories. Even though there is a large world of non-Western developers, they seem unable to challenge the Western-dominated field. Marcel Keurentjes analysed this inequality of power in video game development in his Master Thesis at Leiden University. This piece is a summarized version of his work.
This fourth article in a series of deep dives into alternative historical depictions of Africa and Colonialism in video games focuses on Ethiopia. In its quest for modernisation, Ethiopia looked east to Japan and the Meiji movement. The Historical Flavour mod for Victoria II simulates Ethiopia’s development throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. How is the legacy of the Japaniser Movement represented?
This third article in a series of deep dives into alternative historical depictions of Africa and colonialism in video games focuses on post-colonialism. The end of formal colonialism marked the beginning of neocolonialism. A Victoria 2 mod set in the Cold War simulates this with a system of economic spheres of influence. How does it affect Africa?
This second article in a series of deep dives into alternative historical depictions of Africa and Colonialism in video games focuses on Congo. Following the independence of Congo in 1960 its southernmost province of Katanga broke away as its own republic, receiving heavy Belgian and mercenary support. A popular Hearts of Iron IV mod set in the 1960s depicts an alternative Katanga. How does it fare?
This article is the first in a series of deep dives into alternative historical depictions of Africa and Colonialism in video games, primarily games by Paradox Interactive. In many popular Hearts of Iron IV mods, Germany controls large swathes of Africa as colonies. How would this colonial entity operate, and could it even exist the way it does in those mods?
We asked Liam McLeod to write a review of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla for us. He’s one of our beacons when it comes to medieval England, so he’s bound to have some good opinions on the game. Liam mainly discusses the landscape and the larger narrative, so no worries about (big) spoilers!