Coffee House Perspectives Returns: Gaming the 18th Century Back

Coffee House Perspectives, the official BSECS Podcast, returns with a new episode exploring the popularity of the 18th century in the contemporary video game industry.

In 2022, the global video game market size was estimated at $217.06 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.4% from 2023 to 2030. Recent estimates suggest that there are over 3 million gamers world wide. And, increasingly, game developers are turning to the 18th century for inspiration. From the hugely successful Assassin’s Creed franchise, to the ever expanding array of Real Time Strategy games, through to the growing catalogue of Georgian-set “indy” games, the 18th century is proving a consistently popular setting for gamers. But why the 18th century? What does it mean to gamify a historic period characterized by imperial expansion and colonial violence? Should we consider such games a form of public history? And do the diagnostic demands of gaming always necessarily serve to trivialize historic subjects?

These are some of the questions presenting to an expert panel in the latest installment of Coffee House Perspectives:

  • Dr Jack Orchard, Content Editor for the Electronic Enlightenment project based at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (Follow on X/Twitter: @Jarona7)
  • Dr Stephanie Howard-Smith, Postdoctoral Researcher at King’s College London (Follow on X/Twitter: @SAHowardSmith; on Instagram: @DogHistorian; On Mastadon:@/
  • Dr Ryan Hanley, Lecturer in 18th-Century History at Exeter University
  • Katie Noble, DPhil Candidate in the Faculty of English at the University of Oxford and Theatre Editor for BSECS Criticks (Follow on Twitter @kaatienoble)

This installment was hosted and produced by Dr Adam James Smith, Associate Professor in 18th-Century Literature at York St John University and Chief Editor for BSECS Criticks.

Coffee House Perspectives is available via most popular podcast platforms, or you can access it here.