New paper on reading Sid Meier’s Civilization V as text

I’ve got a new academic paper published as a chapter in the conference proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language and Literary studies: Language, Literature, Play and Games. It’s about what we learn when we read Sid Meier’s Civilization V as a text. The game makes some very interesting judgments and assumptions about history. Here’s the abstract:

The notion that video games can serve as historically-situated texts is not a new one (Cox, 2014). “Reading” a game like a text requires the player and scholar alike to interpret the various symbol systems that the game employs to arrive at an understanding of what the game means (Beavis, 2014).For the player, understanding the game is the first step towards mastering it. The scholar reads a video game to learn what knowledge the game assumes from and asserts to its players. Reading a game in this way can provide better insights into the cultural and historical signposts the game’s creators are drawing on.Despite a pre-game disclaimer that gameplay is “not meant to be a record of actual events,” Sid Meier’s Civilization V (2010) features historical empires and leaders, progression through historical technologies, and extensive quotations from actual literary and historical figures. As such, reading it as a text reveals what the game designers felt to be the elements of human history that would give their game authenticity and appeal. In fact, the game presents a consensus view of history in which remarkably divergent technologies and cultures are blended into a single cohesive whole, which is a reaction to the global marketplace into which it was released.

Usually these sorts of things are behind paywall, but you can read it all for free here: (PDF) ?????, ?????????? ? ???? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ??????????? ???????????? ????????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? 24. ? 25. ???? 2019. ??????/LANGUAGE, LITERATURE, PLAY AND GAMES Proceedings from the Eighth International Conference at the Faculty of Foreign Languages, 24–25 May 2019 | Svetlana Tomic –

Scroll to page 18 for my paper in English.

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