Sessler's Soapbox: Gaming Through History

Posted: July 26, 2011
Sessler's Soapbox: Gaming Through History

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  • redstrat23

    It's good to see that this is a concern that is felt by someone in Adam's position. I have to admit, I was a little jarred to see him losing it like that. That being said I think it''s great that he cares this much about the medium and about how his work is received. It seems, with many reviews, that the reviewers do it because of a basic affinity for video games and for a paycheck. It's refreshing to see that Adam's actually a human being who cares about his work and the state of his field.

    Posted: October 25, 2011 4:55 PM
  • the-Grim-Gamer

    I have just bought assassins creed 1 so i can find out all about altiare and his contribution to the series and i have already bought AC2 n brotherhood n i can say that the series will have a great 4th game to add in 2 the mix. i have also enjoyed all the historical facts and little timbits of knowledge throughout the world. the AC2 even helped answer a question i had in my real life! i was watching jersey shore (Don't judge me!) n the big church in Florence they thought was the Vatican or something like that, the show helped me find out the name. i forget what it is, (N i prob wouldn't know how 2 pronounce, or spell it anyway) but still the game helped me! i applaud the AC crew for adding in all the historical info and things like that. however i think that the game could use a new weapon upgrading system, or even a weapon designing mode. if u like a handle but the blade isnt all that great, u should b able 2 switch it up!

    Posted: August 25, 2011 11:44 AM
  • Rosenwinkel

    This is completely right on. I am a history major and what always fascinates me is not so much the events themselves or the technology of past civilizations but the people. What motivated them to make decisions on a daily basis in 1000, 2000, or 3000 B.C.? What was their daily routine? What events occurred that changed their lives for the better or worse and how did they react to those events? Even when you ask these questions in a modern context such as the Eastern Front during WWII it still fills you with that sense of wonder that Adam talked about. You realize how insignificant and yet how precious your own life and the lives of others are. There are an infinite number of plot lines and settings designers could develop into full fledged titles and Adam's right, they don't even have to have any element of mysticism. I think some recent games have shown that it doesn't need to be all flash and fanfare in order for it to be enjoyable.

    Posted: August 10, 2011 6:05 AM
  • DarkSausage

    I don't understand where did the comments go?

    Posted: July 29, 2011 6:50 PM
  • PcgamerWithAClue

    Total War is the best history game I can think off.
    It was actually used on two historical shows. One of which was completely based around it, re-creating historical battles. Of course, this being a pc game, Adam wont talk about it.

    Posted: July 28, 2011 1:14 AM
  • MisterBrown

    While the soapbox was great (as always), the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern reference has now shot into my Top 5 Sessler Literary Allusions (though I can't think of the other four offhand, you know they're out there). When Stoppard and Ezio are mentioned in the same conversation, everything is gold.

    Posted: July 27, 2011 1:27 PM
  • Wozman23

    I'm more a fan of futuristic settings or alternate timelines with futuristic themes (like Resistance). The weapons of the past are rather boring when compared to Plasma Cutters, Bullseyes, and Mr Zurkons.

    A setting can only do so much for a game. I have a love-hate relationship with the Assassins Creed series. I like exploring the world and finding all the viewpoints, but the combat is dull. I continue to give the series a chance, but usually about half way through I'm just ready to get the thing over with.

    Posted: July 27, 2011 10:23 AM
  • liarsthieves

    Use their toilet. got me thinking of DUKE NUKEM wonder Y.

    Posted: July 27, 2011 10:02 AM
  • This_Dave

    Playing in a well done historical setting is a lot of fun and can actually be educational, either learning something through the game itself or being inspired to read books or watch documentaries about the time or place in question. I studied a lot of medieval european and asian history because of role playing games for example. On the flip side knowing history can be a drawback when playing a game where things are done wrong. While I had fun playing the CoD: Black Ops campaign the anachronisms in it made my teeth hurt for example. Quite a few weapons in the game didn't exist in 1968, the year much of the game takes place in. If I didn't know a lot about firearms history this wouldn't have bothered me at all.

    Posted: July 27, 2011 7:04 AM
  • bagels

    The fact that Adam brought up Rosencrantz and Guildenrstern Are Dead just about made my day. It's a story within Shakespeares' play Hamlet about Hamlet's two friends who observe the whole plot, while playing a part in it themselves...it's awesome...if you were wondering.

    Posted: July 27, 2011 12:13 AM
  • soldojo

    Adam you've given me a wonderful idea for a game! If you would like to hear about it, I'd be happy to share. I am an aspiring game designer, by the way. Not sure if you can easily contact me... maybe reply to this comment if you want to hear about it? I don't want to post it publicly, but I would discuss it with you, as you inspired me.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 10:14 PM
  • lustinius

    I'm guessing that the reason that people enjoy games with historical settings is because they have a natural sense of familiarity with the world. A futuristic city is really interesting, but being able to run through a city that actually existed and which you can learn more about, even outside of the game, just has a much more powerful draw.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 8:00 PM
  • Marcus202

    The time of Sumeria, the fall of Alexander's empire, the rise of Napoleon, the invasion of Genghis Khan, Sun Tzu (or the period of the chinese clans/kingdoms and their unification), WWI (lawrence of arabia!!) soooo much content to pull from, one could simple take a history book pick a page at random and find something interesting about that time period to draw inspiration from.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 7:50 PM
  • business_casual_gamer

    Red Dead Redemption was a great "historical" game- the decay of the brief Old West. It would be interesting to see a sequel in the not too distance but radically different 1930-1940s.

    Also, a later 19th century game from a Native American tribe's perspective would be great. Very raw emotion could be presented in that way. Plus, I'm tired of playing the typical white guy with short brown hair.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 5:45 PM
  • dellom

    Personally, I'd like to see an AC set in Victorian England. A game set during the height(sp)of the British Empire would allow the character to travel to more locations and the technology would be even more impressive with the invention of steam power.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 4:51 PM
  • Dredgon

    History FTW!!!!!

    Posted: July 26, 2011 4:43 PM
  • g4tvroxdahouse

    A bit religious but intriguing none the less: Sodom and Gammorah a few weeks before the comet hit and took them all out. I think that would make a great finale to a game. You try to survive the anarchy and be one that makes it to one of the other towns on the river that was spared.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 4:27 PM
  • RookieBrawler

    I enjoyed playing LA Noire and getting lost in 1940s Los Angeles. Adam, you are correct, there is something so compelling about traveling back in time. More games need to draw from historical contexts and even use them as settings.

    Can you imagine how much more interesting a Call of Duty game would be if they let you see the Japanese signing the surrender on board the U.S. S. Missouri or even something more controversial like playing as a Nazi and having a conference with Hitler? The possibilities are as endless as tehy are enticing.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 4:20 PM
  • werdman24

    Great soapbox. The AC series always has some part of history we want to explore. I'm definitely looking forward to AC:R as I would like to explore Constantinople before it was known as Istanbul. :) Also, I like how I have to use my dictionary app on my iPod Touch in order to look up words Adam says that don't quite register as something recognizable such as tangential. I feel like with every soapbox I watch, my vocabulary is further augmented, making me more intelligent. Thank you Adam.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 3:18 PM
  • cjbos81

    How about the stone age? No one ever mentions the stone age. Or ancient Egypt.

    Or how about the bible? I would like to play an assassin's creed type biblical game. I would want Jesus to have the abilities of Raiden from Mortal kombat. That would be cool.

    Posted: July 26, 2011 3:14 PM