History and Video Games Should go Hand in Hand

History may not be your cup of tea, but this may just be the case when you’re sitting down and reading books or watching documentaries. Instead imagine you’re put into the middle of the action and you were learning while having fun.

Now I know there are a few games that use history, like Assassins Creed; however, even though you’re in these worlds it isn’t historically accurate and it’s hard to believe much you hear in the game as, well aliens. Then there are also games like Civilisation which uses history, but it’s not the same. More games should follow historical events much more closely and accurately. Now I don’t think historically accurate games should replace all games set in old time periods as that is ridiculous, there should just be some that follow great people or times in history. Imagine it like a documentary and period dramas, both can be great.

This could finally see a big introduction of video games into classrooms, for all ages of students. They could become a tool to make history interesting for a wider scope of people, but also make it much easier to understand. Who would forget the events of the English Civil War if they actually played them. It’s not just wars that would benefit, you could have a variety of games that cater to different times in History. Why not have a Minecraft like game where the world has replicas of ancient sites, like classical Mycenae how it would have looked and what remains of it now. How about a game similar to the Sims but set in Victorian London, where it goes through years and major events effect your characters. So these ideas might need work but still there are possibilities.

There are multiple ways you could use history to sell a game, so why not use them. Video game heroes could become real people, one idea I love would be an Alexander the Great series. The game would work as there is enough sources to follow an accurate depiction of his campaign conquering the Middle East. There could be strategic battles where you’re heavily out maned, there is even the chance of having a political side quests where you put people in charge of the areas you have taken, trying to avoid revolts. This is only the surface with a much wider variety of gameplay that could easily be stretched into a trilogy. It being historically accurate would mean anyone who played it would become near experts on the area. I’ve lost count on the amount of games history lines I know inside out, now it’d be useful in life, well at least in pub quizzes.

Okay so in the developers defence, there is only so many pieces of history that work as a game and are still fun to play. I’m sure not many people are going to pick up a game about England’s politics during Edward 6th and Mary 1sts reigns. Then there’s the problem that when someone has done the game about a historic character you can’t exactly add more to it or do it again. Also it might be difficult to have historically accurate stories that are constantly factual or even follow a logical progression of time and don’t start to bore players. But I believe there are at least a handful of games that would work.

For now it looks like we will just have to be happy with games that have a historical setting.

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