The Impact of Censorship on the ‘Historical’ Video-Game


censorship in video games
historical video-games
framing in video-games
ludic meaning of video games
translating history into informatics


This article presents two related ideas. Firstly, video-games should be considered a historically relevant medium through their capacity to generate narratives and lessons of the past. Secondly, the issue of censorship – the doctoring of the past when creating said narratives – is as equally detrimental to history as shown within video-games as it is in alternative formats. The historical significance of censorship within video-games, however, has been largely ignored, mainly due to the perceived ‘trivial’ or ‘ludified’ nature of the medium. As a result, the historiographical capacity of video-games continues to be trivialised and undermined. These arguments are covered over three sections. The first unpacks several criticisms of video-games, in turn showing the medium’s historical capacity. The second uses the example of Nazism to describe and explain the presence of censorship within video-games and the rationale that informs it. The final section links these two ideas, discussing the historical impact of censorship within video-games and why the ‘ludic frame’ of video-games seemingly shadows their equally significant ‘historical frame’.

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