Research from the Center
The Center is proud to support research in video games and history. Its members are actively researching and presenting important work that explores gaming history and the historical narratives in video games.
To further promote the Center we hope to create a monthly podcast that explores issues in history and gaming and invites others to discuss critical play and research methods. In this way, we hope to engage in an interdisciplinary conversation with other games scholars and extend that research to a wider scholarly and public audience. To that end, the Center will facilitate the creation of new gaming-related courses, sponsor an academic conference that invites students and scholars to share their work on history and video game topics, invite speakers to campus, and provide a vocational space for critical gaming.
Presentations, Publications and Pedagogy
“Sega Does What Nintendon't: Manufacturing Masculinity through the Home Console Market,” Sean Smith, 40th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference, February 23, 2019.
“This Is My Land: Soviets in the West,” Jeffery Lawler, 40th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference, February 22, 2019.
“History Pedagogy and Video Games: A Case in Two Parts,” Nov. 9 2018 History Department CSULB Faculty Research Seminar.
“Gaming the past: Video Games and Historical Literacy in the College Classroom,” Jeffery Lawler and Sean Smith presented at The Interactive Pasts Conference 2, October 8 - 10 2018, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
"Assembling Masculinity: How Video Games Set in the American West Recreate Order” Jeffery Lawler presented at the 53rd annual California State University, Long Beach Comparative Literature Conference: Borders, Place, and Translation. April 26th, 2018.
"Playing Within and Without Quarters: the Home Gaming Console and the Rise of Women Gamers," Sean Smith presented at the 53rd annual California State University, Long Beach Comparative Literature Conference: Borders, Place, and Translation. April 26th, 2018.
"Masculinity and Violence in Video Games: The Virile Gun with no Other," Jeffery Lawler presented at the 39th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference, February 7-10, 2018.
"Playing without Quarters: the Home Gaming Console and the Rise of Women Gamers," Sean Smith presented at the 39th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference, February 7-10, 2018.
"Gaming and Pedagogy: How Card Games, Board Games and Video Games Transform the History Classroom" Jeffery Lawler, Sean Smith and Patrick Rael. Panel presentation 4th Annual CUNY Games Conference at the CUNY Graduate Center, January 22, 2018.
“Video Games and History Pedagogy-Video Games as Cultural Texts and Primary Sources in the History Classroom” Jeffery Lawler and Sean Smith. DHSI 2017, University Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia. June 2017.
"History 306 Playing the Past: Games as Historical Narrative, Public Memory, and Cultural Representations," co-devleoped by Sean Smith and Jeff Lawler at California State University, Long Beach.
CSULB Catalog Description
This course focuses on the representations of history and historical narrative in both World and American histories through a variety of video games. The class will investigate the assumptions that guide such representations of history and analyze the extent to which the medium of history-themed video games can bring new questions and perspectives to academic history and history education.
What We are Reading:
Kocurek, Carly A. Coin-Operated Americans Rebooting Boyhood at the Video Game Arcade. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
Chess, Shira. Ready Player Two: women gamers and designed identity. Minneapolis ; London: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
Bissell, Tom, "Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter." New York: Vintage, 2011.
Daniel Muriel and Garry Crawford. Video Games as Culture: Considering the Role and Importance of Video Games in Contemporary Society. Routledge, 2018
What We are Playing
The Witness (Thekla Inc., 2016) Xbox One
Assassin's Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft, 2018) PS4
Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games, 2018) PS4
LA Noir (Rockstar Games, 2011) PS3
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Ubisoft, 2017) Switch
Dear Esther (The Chinese Room, 2016) Xbox One
The Council, Episode 1 (Cyanide Studio, 2018) Xbox One
Nantucket (Picturesque Studios, 2018) Steam
West of Loathing (Asymmetric, 2017) Steam
Thimbleweed Park (Terrible Toybox, 2017) Switch
"Liberty or Death" (KOEI, 1993) Super Nintendo Entertainment System (emulated)
Westerado (Ostrich Banditos, 2015) Steam
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (Ninja Theory, 2017) Xbox One
Assassin's Creed Origins (Ubisoft, 2017) PS4