Editors’ Choice: Excavating Age of Empires

In…Age of Empires, we see that an easy to grasp, difficult to master theory can sit inside an equally easy to play, difficult to master strategy game, a point where complex historical modelling – even if those models are incomplete or overturned – has a positive influence on the development on a style of gameplay. In other words, AoE, while acknowledging its abstraction of the past, is still an attempt to create a certain kind of historical realism – an understanding and modelling of how societies change through time. For doing this, it was – and remains – both compelling and innovative, and therefore escapes the “realism vs gameplay” trap.

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This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Westcott based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: Anu Paul, Jim Casey, Ester Rincon Colero, Penny Johnston, Beth Secrist, Zsolt Almási, Amy Williams, Isabel Pinto, Megan Blair, Dale Russell, Aisha Clarke and Parashar Kulkarni