Wednesday, 22 July 2009

[214] 5 Craziest Uses of Historical Figures in Video Games

After previewing a pre-release build of Wolfenstein last week, I wrote a feature piece for Den of Geek. A light, silly piece, called 'Top 5 Craziest Uses of Historical Figures in Video Games'. Fun to write and research, definitely, but I also think it makes a point about having a more liberal, light-hearted approach to using history in games -- and I'm still playing through Eternal Sonata. Check it out below.

There's a trend in some corners of the video game industry for games to become more 'authentic', 'visceral' and 'meticulously researched'. All three of those phrases whiff of back-of-the-box quote-spin, but this is particularly true when it comes to games that attempt to incorporate, or recreate historical events and contexts.

One needn't look further back than April to find the controversy surrounding Konami, peddling their now-cancelled Six Days in Fallujah project, which sought to do justice to, and create entertainment out of, one of the key early battles in the still-ongoing conflict in Iraq. It shouldn't have to be pointed out that one of the main aspects of gaming's appeal is recreation, or 'fun'. When war meets interactive entertainment, it's hard to be respectful - and many have expressed their awkward feelings when, in a Call of Duty or Medal of Honour game, they feel that real history of pain and suffering echoing behind all the achievements and headshots.

Thankfully, there are games that take history a little less seriously, using pure expression, imagination and kookiness to, in some cases, sidestep the gravity and responsibility of their historical basis. Wolfenstein, id Software's long-running FPS series, is one example, which takes its setting of 1940s Nazi Germany and, like Indiana Jones and countless pulps, infuses it with a spirit of crazy, tongue-in-cheek silliness. The latest installment is due out next month, and in honour of that, we present five of the barmiest uses of historical figures in gaming. They're a bit weird, and often incredibly inaccurate, but at times they offer some glimmers of real genius.

Read the full article here.

1 comment:

Kiara said...

Im not so good in history, actually. But you know, I hope to learn while I am playing Download Games/Video games. It makes the play interesting enough. Got to learn something while enjoying the game.