Artists conception of the Annis Mound and Village Site.

Against the Grain?

Native farming practices and settler-colonial imaginations in the video game "Empire: Total War."
Enemy monsters in first-person shooter game

A History of 'Hup,' The Jump Sound in Every Video Game

You can hear it in your head: the grunt your character makes when hopping a fence or leaping into battle. Its sonic roots trace all the way back to 1973.
Glowing icon of an app among cobwebs. Designed by Alex Castro.

Inside The Fight to Save Video Game History

Video game history is lost faster than we can preserve it.
TV with black and white video game on the screen

Computer Space Launched the Video Game Industry 50 Years Ago – Here's Why Haven't Heard of it

The game that launched today’s massive video game industry was not a roaring success. The oft-told story of why turns out to be off the mark.
illustration of people wearing different historical/cultural hats, each in their own frame, with a keyboard & mouse

Sid Meier and the Meaning of “Civilization”

How one video game tells the story of an industry.
Two characters in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, one rabbit and one human.

Archivists Are Trying to Chronicle Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Unforgettable First Year

The challenge of documenting a virtual world.
A screen with an image of a woman holding a baby and running.

The 'Oregon Trail' Studio Made a Game About Slavery. Then Parents Saw It

'Freedom!' tried to show the horrors of antebellum slavery and the courage of escaping slaves. But neither schools nor audiences were ready for it.
Advertisement commemorating 25 years of video games since the release of Oregon Trail.

Playing in the Past

Gameplay can be useful in history classrooms – but manufacturers have to think about how children will be affected by the competition.

Video Games Can Bring Older Family Members' Personal History Back to Life

How video game designers are 'gaminiscing' World War II stories.

Why We Scapegoat Video Games for Mass Violence and Why It’s a Mistake

It lets us avoid harder questions about our culture.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Confronts the Racist Past and Lets You Do Something About It

Poke around the game’s fictional South and you’ll find cross-burning Klansmen, whom you are free to kill.

Who Were the Pinkertons?

A video game portrays the Wild West’s famous detective agency as violent enforcers of order. But the modern-day company disagrees.

What the Popularity of 'Fortnite' Has in Common With the 20th Century Pinball Craze

Long before parents freaked over the ubiquitous video game, they flipped out over another newfangled fad.

Pokémon Go, Before and After August 12

Gaming in the shadow Charlottesville's "Unite the Right" rally.

Nostalgia is Gaming's Biggest Trend

"Tanglewood" is the first new Sega Genesis game in years - the latest example of gaming developers looking back, not ahead.

The Beautiful, Genuine Artistry of Retro Video Games

Amidst so much politics and tribalism, they can provide portals into thoughtfully rendered alternate worlds.

The Last Scan

Inside the desperate fight to keep old TVs alive.
Screen shot from Oregon Trail gameplay showing Conestoga wagons and people on a western-style main street. Text reads: "Now loading the wagon..."

Let Us Now Enjoy the Incredibly Pure Tale of the Teacher Who Invented The Oregon Trail

He didn’t make a penny.
Regulus, painting by J.M.W. Turner, c. 1828.

It’s Time for Some Game Theory

Experiencing history in Assassin’s Creed.
The Mean Girls Game for DS

Meet the YouTubers Determined to Find Lost Media

New media meets old.