Historically typical yet authentic video games?

McCall and Chapman’s discussion really helped me think of video games in a different light. During this dialogue of authenticity, representation, agency and narratives, what struck me was when Chapman posed the question: “are [the characters] historically typical?”. To me, when historical narratives are ‘typical’, they often the leave out marginalized narratives because it was the elite who wrote these mainstream narratives. This leads me to wonder what an authentic narrative means. According to McCall and Chapman, an authentic video game would be showing players real and accurate experiences from the past. However, I would like to expand this definition of authenticity to being historically accurate and inclusive of all narratives, including the ones that are not stereotypically part of the general narrative. Although there will always be some bias to the past and incompleteness of some picture, it seems like depicting non-cliché narratives in video games would bring even greater value to the authenticity of these games.

On the other hand, video games are for entertainment. This brings me to another part of McCall and Chapman’s discussion where they talk about the different external pressures of being a game. When made for the consumption of the public, video games will be most engaging when the audiences’ perceptions and stereotypes of the historical past are reinforced. Typically, these perceptions and stereotypes don’t include marginalized narratives. Thus, I wonder: are there historical video games out there that have attempted to include marginalized narratives? How do they bring the entertainment element while being authentic?

Edit: Having read all the articles, it seems like Drama in the Delta would be the closest video game, or “playable space”, to what I imagined, as it includes social commentary of different lived experiences while being historically accurate.

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