Archaeogaming Is a Political Matter

This is the companion blog post to my presentation ‘Archaeogaming Is a Political Matter,’ part of the second Public Archaeology Twitter Conference.  My warmest thanks go to Lorna Richardson and James Dixon for organising the conference.  I had a fantastic time taking part.

My thanks also to everyone who asked questions and joined in with a discussion about how we define archaeogaming, and who should be considered an archaeogamer. This made me realise that now we’re at a stage where archaeogaming is not just being questioned as a legitimate field but as one which has responsibilities of its own.  I hope that more people get involved and continue to ask these difficult and essential questions.

The full bibliography for my presentation is below:


Arnold, B. 1990. The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany. Antiquity 64 (244), 464-78

Chan, D. 2009. Dead-in-Iraq The Spatial Politics of Digital Game Art and Activism and the In-Game Protest. Joystick Soldiers The Politics of Play in Military Video Games. In N. Huntemann & M. Payne, eds. Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games. New York: Routledge, 272-286

DeLappe, J. 2011. Dead-in-iraq 2006-2011 game based performative intervention. [online] Available: <> [Accessed: 17.11.17]

Dennis, M. 2017. Archaeogaming? [online] Available: <> [Accessed: 17.11.17]

Huizinga, J. 1938. Homo Ludens. Eastford: Martino Fine Books

Kohl, P. L. and Fawcett, C. 1995. Archaeology in the service of the state: theoretical considerations. In: P.L. Kohl and C. Fawcett, eds. Nationalism, Politics and the Practise of Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Lacina, D. 2017. It Takes More Than a ‘Tolerance’ Mechanic to Make an Anti-Colonial RPG. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed: 17.11.17]

Lacina, D. 2017. Owning Our Resistances With Thunderbird Strike. [online] Available: <> [Accessed: 17.11.17]

LaPensée, E. 2017. Thunderbird Strike. [online] Available: <>  [Accessed: 17.11.17]

McGuire, R.H. 2008. Archaeology as Political Action. Berkeley: University of California Press

Moro-Abadía, O. 2006. The History of Archaeology as a ‘Colonial Discourse’. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology. 16(2), pp.4–17. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 17.11.17]

Murray, S. 2017. On Video Games: The Visual Politics of Race, Gender and Space.  London: I. B Taurus

Tilley, C. 1989. Archaeology as socio-political action in the present. In: V. Pinsky and A. Wylie, ed. Critical traditions in contemporary archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ch.11


11 bit studios. 2014. This War of Mine.  [Video game]. Warsaw:11 bit studios

LaPensée, E. 2017. Thunderbird Strike

Microsoft. 1999. Age of Empires II. [Video game]. Dallas: Ensemble Studios

United States Army. 2002. America’s Army. Virginia: United States Army

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