Since the first key publications in the nineties on videogames research in Humanities and Social Sciences contexts, the field of Game Studies has become an established platform for discussion and debate on how games contribute to our cultural, social and aesthetic experiences. Game Studies has, consequently, taken up debates on diversity and inclusion, time and again. Following the return of radical reactionary and conservative forces across the globe, the recent bigoted GamerGate controversy provoked incisive discussions on gender, and questions of race in games have also been at the forefront of such debates. Not much, however, has been said about the representation of colonialism, empire and neo-colonialism in videogames although some of the very earliest games have featured these issues, sometimes in problematic ways. As games perpetuate past and present global power structures in relation to inequalities in material wealth, exploitation of labor, and hegemonic articulations of history and the Other, it is necessary for game studies not only to bring these issues to light, but also critically to analyse the relationship between videogames and existing postcolonial power relationships. Analysing games as disparate as Age of Empires, Far Cry 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry reveal intrinsic questions about how the ludic relates to colonialism and how it informs the postcolonial experience.

Postcolonial Perspectives in Game Studies

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