von Eugen Pfister
The following essay is – again – based on leftovers of my presentation at the Clash of Realities conference November 2019 .: „Playing „History as it really was“ – The Myth of Historical Accuracy in video games and its ideological functions“. Based on the same lecture I wrote a completely revised paper for the anthology „History in Games – Contingencies of an Authentic Past“ by Martin Lorber and Felix Zimmermann. The anthology is expected to be published by Transcript until October 27, 2020.
When players discuss history in games in forums, they usually don’t talk about post-structuralist paradigm shifts but about a very concrete question: how historically accurate is the game? It is indicative that most of these debates focus on the representation of weapons, uniforms and the topography of battles. To better understand the motivation of the game developers and game publishers it helps to take a closer look at the historical consultants of historical video games.