The Public Medievalist New Column: Games

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The medium of games is vibrant and powerful. Over the last few decades the rise and spread of computer games, the renaissance in board and tabletop games, and the popularisation of roleplaying games and LARPing have reshaped recreation for many people. When these games address the Middle Ages or include medievalesque elements, they can provide an influential new way that the public looks at, and plays with, the past.

A New Series

King’s Landing from Game of Thrones, rendered in Minecraft. Click for source.

The Public Medievalist is launching a new series looking at medievalism in all forms of games. To this end, we’re looking for editorials and essays that explore how the medieval past is represented in games, and that explore the impact and significance of portraying the Middle Ages in popular culture. Importantly, these pieces will think about how why game medievalisms are made, why they’re interesting, what they achieve, and why they matter. We will be accepting submissions on a rolling basis from medievalists at all points in their careers.

We are happy to consider adaptions of your existing work or a piece exploring your new ideas. Fundamentally, your article should be geared towards a public—rather than an academic—audience, both in terms of subject matter and in terms of tone and vocabulary choice. Appropriate topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Comparisons between games and other media
  • Tensions between popular and academic medievalism in games
  • Historical roleplay driven by national identity
  • Games as historical models or simulations
  • Exploration of religion and society through play
  • Representations of medieval race, gender, or sexuality in games
  • Violence in medieval games
  • Games and play in history education
  • Principles of game design and their relevance to history
A Horde fortress in World of Warcraft.

We encourage submissions from medievalists or games and media scholars at any point in their career. We are also happy to accept essays from scholars, writers and thinkers outside the traditional boundaries of the academy. We are especially interested in essays from games designers about issues important to them, or discussions of their process. We also welcome pieces dealing with any region of the globe, and within a very broad definition of ‘medieval’—including the fantasy genre.

Feel free to pitch us an idea or send a full submission to, and be sure to consult our guidelines for prospective authors before submitting.

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