Mashing Up History and Heritage in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Richard A Cole*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
791 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article proposes a new framework for analysing how developers structure – and players experience – history and heritage in historical video games. Drawing on the theory of mashups, this article demonstrates how historical games generate ‘technocultural mashups’ by cutting and pasting aspects of cultural heritage into the gameplay experience and then challenging players to further adapt this. ‘Technocultural mashups’, the article suggests, exploit a cultural precedent in the recombination of art, music and video, but also a Web 2.0 precedent that enables alternative modes of production, communication and consumption based on the affordances of new media. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is used as a case study to better understand the relationship between game design and the simulation of cultural heritage. By looking at fan-made trailers, as well as gameplay, paratexts and player-generated content, this article explores how ‘technocultural mashups’ enable players to participate in a networked historical imaginary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915–928
Number of pages14
JournalGames and Culture
Volume17
Issue number6
Early online date4 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Structured keywords

  • Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition

Keywords

  • historical games
  • mashup
  • cultural heritage
  • game design
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • Paratexts
  • players

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