History, presupposition and verisimilitude – ambivalent desires in game design practice and counterfactual history in digital strategy games
Ylva Grufstedt, PhD student, University of Helsinki
My PhD project is focused on history in digital strategy games and builds on the notion that designers of said games work within a framework of multiple pressures and values that ultimately shape gameplay and the pastness contained therein. The overarching aim of the study is to analyse digital strategy games and game design practices with regards to historical change and uses the element of counterfactual history as theoretical pivot. This presentation covers two empirical chapters of my PhD thesis, drawing primarily on interviews with game developers describing their relationship to history, the practice, challenge and consequence of implementing historiographic rulesets into digital games.