Discussion of Drama in the Delta

The discussion on authenticity and accuracy in Drama in the Delta demonstrated how complex the issues of representation are in creating and designing video games and other digital media to capture historical memories. Drama in the Delta is a game wrought with racial tensions, making it that much more difficult to represent in a non-problematic way. The game uses real-world documents and images to explain the virtual world and the author of the article discussed how the prototype of the game came across as telling the reality versus allowing the player to experience and engage with it. In a scenario such as with this game, the world references a very traumatic time in our collective memory. Therefore, this game must be extra sensitive to how it represents this world.

Although the design of the prototype is more “telling” than “experiencing”, “telling” allows for greater control and accuracy in the representation of the time period. However, you then lose the greater emotional connection to the game and that moment in history. Just as with historical fiction in literature, we cannot take the narrative of the game as a completely accurate representation of the past. In video games it is important to represent the time period as accurately as possible and with as little bias as possible, but allowing the narrative to depart from exact reality can foster deeper understandings of the systems of racism during that era. The important thing to note is that these games must not claim to be completely historically accurate, but rather a single informed perspective on the time period. These games are important in forming emotional and deep connections to history.


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