British Conference of Undergraduate Research - James Piggott
James Piggott, undergraduate student at the Warwick University History Department, has been selected to present at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research this April. James has provided the following information regarding his forthcoming presentation:
My presentation presents two related ideas. Firstly, video-games should be considered a historically-relevant medium, through their capacity to both generate narratives and lessons of the past. Subsequently, the issue of censorship – the doctoring of the past when creating said narratives – is equally detrimental to history within video-games as in alternative formats. The historical significance of censorship within video-games, however, has been largely ignored, due to the ‘trivial’ or ‘ludified’ nature of video-games. As a result, the trivialisation and undermining of the historical practice remains within video-games.
These arguments are covered over three sections. The first unpacks several criticisms of video-games, in turn showing the medium’s historical capacity. The second uses the example of Nazism to describe and explain the presence of censorship within video-games. The final section links these two ideas, discussing the historical impact of censorship within video-games, and why the ‘ludic frame’ of video-games seemingly shadows their equally significant ‘historical frame’.
I hope that, with this paper, video-games will be taken more seriously within academia. I hope to demonstrate their potential utility for the historical practice, and, subsequently, why protecting them from censorship is important. The historical field will be greatly enhanced when developers and historians are not fearful of presenting their novel or controversial arguments. If censorship is abhorrent in alternative historical formats, so should it be in video-games.
This will entail providing a brief 10 minute presentation to a variety of different undergraduate researchers and experts; there will then be time for a short Q&A afterwards to answer any queries or loose ends.
BCUR - the British Conference of Undergraduate Research - is a yearly conference aimed at promoting and sharing undergraduate research in all disciplines. It is a fantastic opportunity to receive feedback and interest in one's work, and to meet with fellow researchers and academics. This year, the conference is being hosted at the University of South Wales, and consists of both oral and poster presentations.