Historical accuracy in video games

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Historical accuracy in video games

Post by Cold War Communist on Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:24 pm

I'm currently playing Skyrim for the 15th time. I was just looking at my sword, thinking, "These swords are horribly inaccurate. Not one of them is designed with efficiency in mind."

After I got over that, I figured that I would pose the question about historical accuracy and games in general: do you think of it as important? I tend to think so, given that video games are an increasingly large part of everyone's lives (as Millennials, who grew up on video games, grow older and their children enter the realm of games) and therefore have ample opportunity to reach and teach people about history.

Shoot for the moon, feel free to tell me what game(s) you think hit the mark or miss the point, what could be done in the future, etc.
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Re: Historical accuracy in video games

Post by DukeOfTea on Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:53 am

I'm not 100% sure and I'd like some further confirmation, but although it's fantasy The Witcher series seems to be fairly historically accurate with weaponry and folklore. The Kingdoms and Empires are also heavily based from real life ones: Skellige is a mix of Irish and Nordic culture (and is named after small Irish monastic island settlements), Redania seems to be a representation of the home of the devs, Poland, and Nilfgaard seems to be very Germanic. I also might be wrong, but the "Aen Elle" seem to speak a very similar language to modern Irish.
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Re: Historical accuracy in video games

Post by NearWolf58 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:15 pm

Cold War Communist wrote:I'm currently playing Skyrim for the 15th time. I was just looking at my sword, thinking, "These swords are horribly inaccurate. Not one of them is designed with efficiency in mind."

After I got over that, I figured that I would pose the question about historical accuracy and games in general: do you think of it as important? I tend to think so, given that video games are an increasingly large part of everyone's lives (as Millennials, who grew up on video games, grow older and their children enter the realm of games) and therefore have ample opportunity to reach and teach people about history.

Shoot for the moon, feel free to tell me what game(s) you think hit the mark or miss the point, what could be done in the future, etc.
I fully agree with you.  We should be able to show people history through game.  Even making a sword more realistic would be a big step in the right direction.  It could be a new way to teach history through video games. Instead of reading about it you could experience it. I Call of Duty tries to do this in their second and third game. But normal soldiers weren't super humans with 120 kill count. I know in cinema The Lord of the Rings franchise has pretty realistic weapons.  They seemed designed for the wielder. One that stands out to me is that the scimitar fits the Urk-Hai's build.
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Re: Historical accuracy in video games

Post by Heraclius Augustus on Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:46 pm

The Assassin's Creed games have pretty consistently impressed me in terms of historical accuracy for a AAA video game. The lore of the games tend to have alot of sci-fi nonsense, but the actual cities, characters and events explored are generally quite accurate.

For example, using an old map of New York from 1770 I was able to roughly navigate it's 1777 counterpart in Assassin's Creed 3.
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Re: Historical accuracy in video games

Post by _Dewey on Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:43 am

I understand the need for there to be a balance between historical accuracy and fun game play. But there's a lot of things in my opinion that go overboard with the idea. Like for example with Skyrim, at least the setting is still consistent with its theme at least. It can resemble a medieval world and give an impression that it feels like a medieval fantasy. But one game ticks me off with how innacurate it is is Battlefield 1. I still find it fun, but I never think of it like i'm playing a WWI game. When you've got British A7Vs (only 20 were made, by Germans) attacking the Ottomans (with fully automatic or semi automatic weapons like the Selbstadler 1916, which almost no soldier would have saw), it's kind of hard to even try to be immersed. I still find it a fun game, but I can`t take it seriously. The narrator for Operations even straight up lies sometimes. Like how the Ottoman attack on the Suez was a "surprise attack". Even though the British knew well in advance the attack was coming, due to air reconnaissance, and was easily defeated. I just realized how much I wrote about it lmao.
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Re: Historical accuracy in video games

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:09 pm

Similar to novels and movies, I think historical accuracy is only important if the history is heavily emphasized. For example, grand strategy games like EU4 and HOI4 require a lot of historical accuracy, especially for the setup. But yeah it really annoys me when games where one of the big things they hype about is the time period and proceed to ignore most of it like Battlefield 1
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Re: Historical accuracy in video games

Post by Cold War Communist on Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:51 pm

Battlefield 1 is the only realistic effort I have seen to convey WWI to a modern audience so they get points for that. Remove many of the tanks though and it would be on the right "track". Wink

With that said, there is currently a controversy about the way Call of Duty games are handling WWII by removing Nazi symbolism and allowing players to customize their soldier as female or black and join the German ranks. It is worth noting that this does not take place in the campaign, but most people play Call of Duty games for the multiplayer, so...
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