Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Tag: history (page 1 of 2)

Scrabble Turns 70

Yesterday (16th December) was the 70th anniversary of the much-loved ‘Scrabble’. This anniversary corresponds to when its inventor, James Brunot first received the Trademark for the game: December the 16th 1948.  However, Scrabble actually has a longer history than this date would suggest.

In 1931, a draughtsman called Alfred Butts created a game called ‘Lexico’. Having been made redundant during the onset of the Great Depression, Butts wanted to create a game that could potentially tap into the recent craze of crosswords. In his game players had to use tiles to create words that would then score the player points depending on how they were placed. Butts then later developed this game into something called ‘Criss-crosswords’, which introduced a 15×15 game board for players to place their tiles on. He also introduced ‘premium’ tiles, which when utilised would grant the player double- and triple- letter and word scores. read more

A Half-baked Cake: Idealised Avatars In An Exergame

The Avatar

In August of last year I wrote a blog advertising my interview study on experiences of play an exercise game with an avatar that looks similar to the player.

Last week I presented some of my findings at a Games Research Network seminar and thought I would summarise the talk in this short blog post

I started the talk by defining the term avatar which has only recently received a thorough explication by Nowak and Fox (2018). In short, it is the representation of a person in digital space. This is not restricted to visual representations, but can be text, sound, and in some cases haptic. For my purposes, I am looking at avatars that specifically look like a person, and in particular, videogame characters. read more


March 8th is International Women’s Day (or, as it is known in some areas of the internet, “but when is it international mens [sic] day”?) and it offers a perfect opportunity to think about how to celebrate and make visible the contribution women make to game design and development.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress – a call to “motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.” One hundred years after women gained the right to vote in the UK, there are – depressingly – too many areas of politics, society and economics where progress is sorely needed or, else, occurring at a sluggish pace. read more

Historia Ludens Conference – 19 May 2017

Registration is now open for the Historia Ludens conference to be held at the University of Huddersfiled on May 19th.

This conference follows up on the workshop “Playing with History” that has been held in November 2015 in Huddersfield. Gaming and History is gaining more and more traction, either as means to “gamify” history education or museum experiences, or as computer games as prism into history like the popular History Respawned podcast series ( read more

Digital Games as History

Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice

By Adam Chapman

Routledge, 2016. ISBN: 9781138841628

In this timely and provocative work, Adam Chapman argues ‘for the serious consideration of the nature and possibilities of digital games as a historical form’ (p. 265). It is timely because the massive popularity of digital historical games means that they are now one of the most significant forms of public engagement with the past, surpassing academic and popular history texts, visits to museums or heritage sites and participation in re-enactments and rivalling the consumption of film and historical fiction. It is provocative because this text is aimed as squarely at academic historians as it is at scholars of Game Studies, yet it demands of its readers a rather uncritical acceptance of the conceits and fallacies of postmodernist critiques of History as an academic discipline. read more

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