Collections: Why Rings of Power’s Middle Earth Feels Flat

This week we're going to take a look at the worldbuilding of Amazon Studio's Rings of Power from a historical realism perspective. I think it is no great secret that Rings of Power broadly failed to live up to expectations and left a lot of audiences disappointed. In the aftermath of that disappointment, once one … Continue reading Collections: Why Rings of Power’s Middle Earth Feels Flat

Meet a Historian: James Baillie on Digital Humanities and the Medieval Caucasus

Note from the Editor: I'm excited to feature another guest post with you all! This week we have James Baillie discussing how digital humanities and prosopographic methods can be used to better understand the history of the medieval Caucasus. Prosopography is a historical tool-set that is about charting the networks, connections and commonalities of people, … Continue reading Meet a Historian: James Baillie on Digital Humanities and the Medieval Caucasus

Miscellanea: Victoria III Confirmed! (First Impressions)

This week's post is coming to you all a bit early, as the folks at Paradox Interactive were kind enough to send me a review code for Victoria III - Paradox Interactive's long awaited historical grand strategy game set during 19th and early 20th centuries - so I could have something to say about it … Continue reading Miscellanea: Victoria III Confirmed! (First Impressions)

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IV: Emperors, Soldiers and Peasants

This is the last part of a four part series (I, IIa, IIb, III, IV) examining the historical assumptions behind the popular medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, made by Paradox Interactive. In the previous sections, we'd laid out what CKIII does very well: building a simulated model (albeit a simplified one) of power … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IV: Emperors, Soldiers and Peasants

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part III: Constructivisting a Kingdom

This is the third part of a four part series (I, IIa, IIb, III, IV) examining the historical assumptions behind the popular medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, made by Paradox Interactive. In the last part (in two sections), we discussed how CKIII attempts to model decentralized political power in the fragmented polities of … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part III: Constructivisting a Kingdom

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIb: Cracks in the House of Islam

This is the back half of the second part of a four part series (I, IIa, IIb, III, IV) examining the historical assumptions behind the popular medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, made by Paradox Interactive. Last time we looked at how the game tried to mechanically simulate the internal structure of the highly … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIb: Cracks in the House of Islam

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIa: Rascally Vassals

This is the second part of a four-part (I, IIa, IIb, III, IV) series examining the historical assumptions of the popular historical grand strategy game Crusader Kings III, by Paradox Interactive. Last time we opened by discussing how CKIII attempts to simulate and represent the distinctly personal character of rule and decision-making in the Middle … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Crusader Kings III, Part IIa: Rascally Vassals

Collections: Expeditions: Rome and the Perils of Verisimilitude

This week we're going to take a long look at Expeditions: Rome, a turn-based tactics RPG by developer Logic Artists, set in the first century BC Late Roman Republic. In particular, we're going to look at how the game both constructs and uses its historical setting. This is a particularly important topic to discuss because … Continue reading Collections: Expeditions: Rome and the Perils of Verisimilitude

Collections: The Roman Dictatorship: How Did It Work? Did It Work?

This week, we're taking a break from the modern world to tackle the 'runner up' question from the first ACOUP Senate poll: How did the Roman dictatorship work and was it effective? This is one of those questions that seems very simple but isn't. After all, what most people know about the Roman dictatorship is … Continue reading Collections: The Roman Dictatorship: How Did It Work? Did It Work?

Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things

This is the third and final part (I, II) of our series tackling the complicated and still debated question of 'how bad was the fall of Rome (in the West)?' In our first part, we looked at the question through the prism of 'words' - language, culture, religion and literature. There we found a lot … Continue reading Collections: Rome: Decline and Fall? Part III: Things