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"IT IS MY HOPE," wrote Adam Chapman, "that by now few deny that contemporary game series like Civilization or Assassin's Creed constitute history." (1) His assessment is a statement to the enthusiastic reception videogames have received among historians in recent times. Almost fifteen years after the formal establishment of game studies as a scholarly field, the medium has been regarded as a focal point for changes in contemporary historical writing and imagination. (2) Enthusiasts of both experimental historiography and popular history have shown a common desire to transcend the limits of the traditional monograph, to channel the participatory potential of the gaming genre to foster an active public, and to make use of the yet untapped expressive possibilities of the medium. Yet, albeit few may deny games the status of "history," precisely what kind of historiography they constitute is still a matter of contention. Videogames' capacity to address epistemological concerns and their relationship with traditional scholarship seem to be the questions in which the starkest differences arise. In this paper, I intend to present a review of this discussion, starting with a presentation of the institutional and philosophical challenges to traditional historiography that have inspired game scholars. I will then proceed to a practical definition of "scholarly games," and to an overview of previous attempts to conceive of, and utilize, videogames for scholarly purposes. Subsequently, I will address some limitations of the medium that have not been adequately addressed by existing scholarship, and provide a benchmark for how it can be better appropriated to suit the needs of historians.

In the field of game studies, some authors have commented on videogames' potential to live up to academic standards, becoming themselves a mode of scholarship. Dawn Spring has praised games' capacity--unique, according to her, among popular culture media--to adhere to scholarly standards, and has called attention to the similarities between the process of history writing and research and those of game design. (3) In parallel lines, Clyde et al. have advocated for a "gamic mode of history," a novel kind of historiography that presents its arguments as scholarly videogames, making use of the versatility of the software to overcome the limitations of the textual form. (4) Other authors, however, have taken issue with historians' adherence to traditional standards. Criticizing Clyde et al.'s idea of gamic mode, which he calls a "reactionary stance" to bind gaming within textual history's epistemological boundaries, Jeremy Antley argues for an "interoperability" between history and games, and states that the authors' concerns with the specificities of scholarly discourse stems from their fears, as professional historians, of being displaced as "certified authorities." (5) Contrary to Clyde et al., Antley does not take the participative nature of games as a threat to empirical and analytical rigor, but as its greatest asset: the opportunity to factor in the input of active "prosumers" (producers plus consumers) as opposed to the passive acquiescence of textual history readers. In similar lines, Thomas Apperley advocates a conception of history not as the search for truth, but as a collective, interpretive discipline, in which competing discourses can and should coexist. (6) This enthusiasm mirrors (if it is not a direct consequence of) the exponential growth in popularity of gaming and the concomitant urge by game-studies and public-history scholars to welcome new audiences. It is the new common sense, or so it seems, that the greatest strength of games and other popular culture media are the multiplicity of voices they attract. Thus, Uricchio cites the "roughly parallel development" of user empowerment and challenges to historians' authority. (7) Likewise, Jerome de Groot talks about consumers' sense of enfranchisement against institutional gatekeepers. (8) Meanwhile, de Peuter and Dyer-Witherford mention the influence of "media artists, independent game designers, and media literacy advocates" in scholarship. (9) Finally, Antley hails against the stiff "demarcation of specialized knowledge." (10)

Albeit not new, this important debate concerns three interrelated issues, around which detractors and apologists of amateur history have clashed. From the micro to the macro level, they are the constraints of the narrative form, the adherence to epistemological standards, and the institutional interests of professional historians.

The critique of historical narrative has its fountainhead in the French "Linguistic Turn" of the 1960s, and in the efforts of linguists to raise awareness of the way our reliance on language to apprehend the world mined the prospects of an "objective" understanding of reality. The approach was (and still is) favored by postmodern historians, who have called attention to what they perceive as literary qualities of the historical narrative, and how they impact historians' capacity to construct objective interpretations of the past. (11) The view was most famously marshaled by Hayden White. (12) At its extreme, it denies historiography any epistemological privilege, instead treating it as an aesthetic discourse on par with fiction and amateur non-fiction. Authors who subscribe to this view tend to employ a theoretical framework based on literary criticism, with particular emphasis on the biases of the narrative form. Opponents of the postmodern tradition, on the other hand, have insisted on analytical merits of the historical narrative and accused narrativistic scholars of equating disagreement with nostalgia for nineteenth-century positivism. (13)

Moreover, a less common caveat to the postmodern position was recently made in passing by Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen. (14) While it is true that most historians write their theses as narratives, Kuukkanen remarks that this is not an imperative of the discipline. On the contrary, throughout the history of historiography, many authors have employed alternative modes of history writing. Already in 1958, Annales historian Fernand Braudel urged for an approximation between the discipline and the rest of the social sciences, including what he labeled "social mathematics." The author insisted on the pertinence of models, "hypotheses," and "systems of explanation solidly bound according to the form of the equation or the function." (15) Careful use of models would allow historians to better generalize and compare their theses, and they could be found already (even if in rough form) in historiography; for example, his own model of commercial capitalism sketched in The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. (16)

In the anglophone world Braudel's call was paralleled by the development of cliometrics, a bold attempt to outfit history writing with complex mathematical tools borrowed from the field of econometrics. The trend, as exemplified in the works of Richard Tilly, Robert Fogel, Stanley Engerman, and Douglass North, had trouble overcoming the gap between its highly mathematized methods and the historical discipline's humanistic roots, and proved short-lived. (17) Its spirit, however, lives on in the North American school of 'Social (Science) History,' a branch of historiography that frequently makes use of statistics and other methods of inquiry employed by the traditionally mathematics-oriented US social scientists (and actually emerged at about the same time as cliometrics). (18) In recent years, the advancement of computing, the development of easy-to-use software for formal modeling and the cooperation between historians and researchers from outside the humanities has encouraged the production of novel, non-narrative kinds of historiography. The result has been multifold, ranging from the application of game theory for the study of strategic interactions (19) to social network analysis for prosopographical and biographical research, (20) to geographic information systems (GIS), and spatial analysis. (21) Nevertheless, these alternative historiographies are far from hegemonic, arguably in no small part due to the chasm--intellectual and institutional--between the "quantitative-systematic-generalizing branch" popular in the social sciences and the "qualitative-humanistic-discursive branch" of historical studies. (22) While many envision history as a model-making discipline, models and modeling techniques used in fields such as political science, economics, or the natural sciences do not often circulate well within it. (23)

The second issue concerns the epistemological validity of historical research. Again, the attack has come from three intellectual developments of the Linguistic Turn, this time aimed not at historiography itself but at historical source analysis. The first was the influence of Ferdinand de Saussure's work on semiotics (24) and the advent of deconstructionism, proposing a language-model epistemology according to which language was seen not as mimetic, but as generative: It did not merely mediate reality, but preceded and created it. (25) The second was the influence of semiotics on symbolic anthropology, erasing the distinction between "society" and "social texts," culminating in Clifford Geertz's famous statement that "the real is as imagined as the imaginary." (26) The third was the rise of studies about ideology to the forefront of intellectual history. This development was instigated by the works of Louis Althusser and by New Historicism. (27) Its protagonists suggested the understanding of social and political practices as cultural scripts, paying attention to their roles in symbolic patterns of domination. To its critics, the result was a "virtual obsession with theorists of discourse," which rendered any attempt to analyze sources to obtain insights on past societies not only subjective, but arbitrary. (28) While authors "on the side of History" have ever since rejected the denial of a reality hors-texte, the relativistic position is still popular, especially in the arena of ideological critique. (29) With respect to videogames, it is telling that understanding the "interlocking of circuits of power and culture" has been pointed as one of the goals of game studies. (30) The critique of the orthodoxies of established fields of humanities has been hailed as one of the defining features of its mother discipline of cultural studies. (31)

The third--and most serious--issue concerns the relevance, or prospect of obsolescence, of historical studies in the twenty-first century. Here, adaptation in the face of new media and the participatory culture it helped disseminate is seen at once as a miracle cure and as a nail in the discipline's coffin. Dependent as they are on scholarships and grants, academics are no strangers to financial and political pressures. Time and again, in the wake of unfavorable economic conditions or changes in educational policies, researchers are forced to justify the need for their positions in terms of their contribution to society. In humanities, the apprehension is often magnified, as administrative directives to reduce funding in favor of vocational fields loom constantly on the horizon. For some, the guilt falls over the academy's unwillingness to address the yearnings of the society that lies outside its walls and that, in many countries, is responsible for sustaining it. It is no coincidence that the imperative of branching out to the outside world and fostering "interconnected, publicly engaged, participant citizens" has been mentioned as one of the goals of the digital humanities. (32) While it is tempting to cast blame on politicians, outside forces, or on the anti-intellectualism of the masses, we ultimately are, as Kathleen Fitzpatrick provoked, responsible "for our culture's sense of our irrelevance." (33)

What if, however, the public society with which academic history engages demands its closure? What if the needs, fetishes, and ideological inclinations of these non-academic voices prove antithetical to scholarly practice? Here, the rhetoric of enfranchisement of the digital humanities alone does not provide the answers. Helle Porsdam has shown that the eagerness to conform to outside pressure has time and again steered historical inquiry towards an exclusionary quantitative focus, prompting an abandonment of qualitative methods that have long distinguished the humanities. (34) In some fields, the threat is immediate, and much more severe. In 2008, an international congress was held at the University of Sao Paulo to discuss the usefulness of medieval studies in contemporary times. (35) What could have been taken for alarmism was confirmed seven years later, as Brazil's Ministry of Education enacted a proposal for a Common National Core, which virtually excluded the Middle Ages from the secondary curriculum, along with the whole French-derived quadripartite model of historical development. (36) The ethos behind the document was not merely utilitarian--by implying that old European history is unimportant for forming citizens in a young Latin American country--but also ideological, reflecting a push against European imperialism (and what was perceived as its intellectual legacy) that had become ubiquitous in the Brazilian political scene. (37) If historians are to take up Fitzpatrick's challenge and prove their relevance to our culture, one surmises, their stance must be not of mere acquiescence, but of active persuasion.

Could videogames help bridge this gap? Would it be possible to arrive at a common forum in which historians could engage with popular historical imagination without either entrapping themselves in the ivory tower or being subject to a questioning of the value of their specialized knowledge? I suggest here an invitation to two groups of scholars that have not engaged in dialogue very often, despite the similarities in their interests. The first are scholars of game studies and experts in historical culture, who warily see calls for epistemological rigor as a form of cultural gatekeeping, or prejudice, against popular history. The others are historians who dabble in social-science methodology and digital humanities, and have made use of highly formalized textual and computerized tools to enrich their field. As I will attempt to show below, videogames have much in common with mathematical models, and to ignore the similarities is to shun a debate from which both groups could profit.

Before addressing the potential value of videogames to academe, it is imperative to define what sets "scholarly games" apart from commercial historical games and other forms of popular history. The obvious criterion that games are "scholarly" insofar as they are made by (or informed by theses of) professional, academically trained historians is unsatisfactory. On the one hand, it fails to account for the substantial historiographical contribution of independent scholars and practitioners of other disciplines. On the other, it glosses over the fact that professional historians might themselves engage in the production of non-academic material, be it newspaper articles, blog posts, or even historical fiction. Indeed, at its extreme, defining scholarly history based on the background of its authors redounds to an argumentum ad autoritatem lacking any explanatory value.

A more promising option is to focus on the purpose of historical media itself, and how they incorporate concerns over epistemological rigor. One such definition has been given by Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba in their discussion of the methodology of the social sciences. (38) According to these authors, scientific research differs from casual observation because it aspires to comply with four criteria:

1. Its goal is scientific inference, that is "using the facts that we know to learn about facts we do not know." (39)

2. It utilizes public, disclosed methods shared by a community of scholars.

3. Its conclusions are always uncertain to some degree, and the work itself is clear about its own limits.

4. Its content is its method. (40)

Although not conceived exclusively with the historical investigation in mind, this scheme provides a broad and inclusive benchmark for defining scholarly historical games. The first criterion implies that these games must strive to put forth new knowledge, if not in the sense of a "discovery" as in the natural sciences, at least in that of the introduction of a new perspective concerning its object. Games that merely present "individual and family stories" with an emphasis on "empathy and engagement," as popular history is often accused of doing, would thus fall outside the definition. (41) This is not to say that concerns with player engagement are antithetical to scholarly pursuits. On the contrary, as several authors have argued, academic writing strives for persuasion and demands a good measure of rhetoric. (42) Rather, it means that a scholarly game, in addition to its rhetorical apparatus, must also serve a specific purpose: scientific inference. The second criterion determines that the research procedures which have resulted in its theses must be transparent to the player, either as part of the game itself, or in some sort of ancillary material. In historical research, this includes a description and analysis of consulted sources, the choices that inform the historian's selection of facts, and the theoretical premises that underscore his or her argumentation. The third criterion, by its turn, calls attention to the limits of the second. All historiographical works are constrained by a series of factors: the boundaries of their scope, the confines of their authors' expertise, or even difficulties encountered in the reading of the sources themselves. Making these shortcomings evident to readers is vital to ensure a work's longevity and contribute to future discussion. The fourth and last criterion states that the investigative method above is not a means, but an end in itself. However specific their immediate goals might be, all forms of historiography are ultimately works about history, and as such can be understood and scrutinized by anyone versed in their methodology.

King et al.'s four criteria are useful because they avoid the philosophical conundrums introduced above, while stressing principles that most historians intuitively follow in their research. However, despite their straightforwardness, their application to videogames can prove problematic. To illustrate and address the challenges posed by the medium, an overview of previous discussions on scholarly games is warranted.

To examine what videogames can bring to scholars, it will be useful to discuss some key ideas that have been developed about the subject. One of the most eloquent attempts to develop games as a mode of historical scholarship has come from Jerremie Clyde, Howard Hopkins, and Glenn Wilkinson. According to them, the desire to popularize history and share the role of interpretation with the reader leads games and other digital histories to undermine the epistemological rigor expected of the discipline: The solution would be a game designed to respect the structure of academic historiography, that is, the conversion of facts to evidence and their arrangement "according to a set of rules for that particular argument via interpretation." (43) The gains from structuring a historical thesis as a game, instead of a traditional text, would lie in the game's ironclad internal consistence and in the player's capacity to make predictions regarding the game's environment and, subsequently, establish "a sense of veracity outside of the arrangement of evidence and interpretation of the argument." (44) The authors invoke the concept of procedural rhetoric, first forwarded by Ian Bogost and employed by a number of scholars who have strived to shift the focus of game criticism towards the rules and computational elements of videogames. (45) Proceduralism has been seen as an offshoot of ludological approaches to games, an early attempt, during the first years of videogame scholarship, to emphasize the ludic aspects of games and align its study with early theorists of play over their textual and narrativistic elements. (46) The dichotomy between the two views has long since defused, with the resulting observation that narratological and ludological approaches are not mutually exclusive, and need not be treated as such. (47)

The proceduralist argument adds to this discussion the unique affordances and constraints displayed by videogames not as mere rule-systems, but as software. Processes play a role in many social interactions, but in computational artifacts, they assume unparalleled importance. To Bogost, procedural rhetoric is a means of making and understanding arguments with computational systems rather than conventional language. (48) Its benefits would lie in overcoming the ingrained metaphors of verbal discourse with "abstract representations about the way the world does or should function." (49) According to Clyde et al., these features allow games to base their truth claims on the strength of the evidence presented, and not in "inherently persuasive attributes of their modes of expression" as would, to use their example, a long, hardcover monograph from a famous publisher inherently, which conditions the reader to believe in its thesis. (50)

Clyde et al. make important points, and correctly identify the role of processes and the consistency of rules as the defining characteristics of the medium. Nevertheless, their work displays its share of shortcomings. First of all, it is not clear how better games would fare in avoiding persuasive terminology and adhering to theoretical and methodological transparency, when compared with texts. Their example of the hardcover monograph here is unfortunate. While it is true that gameplay constitutes a game's "core," its "shell," or the sum of its representational aspects, also exerts influence on players. (51) High-budget historical simulations like the Total War games will undoubtedly have more resources to stimulate a "sense of history" than crude independent titles. (52) Likewise, the authors themselves concede that many games use historical sources and appeal to facts as rhetorical devices. (53) It is reasonable to suppose that a scholarly game could, with rigor and common sense, avoid such distortions, but that does not make videogames as a whole superior to the textual as a mode of historiography. It is also disputable how procedural rhetoric makes a historical argument transparent, even if they are, from a computational perspective, mandatorily explicit in their assumptions. If games often present intuitive interfaces and easy to learn rule sets, even simple videogames engage in what Chapman has labeled "black-boxing": They depend on complex algorithms which might operate with hundreds or thousands of variables. (54) While sophisticated games with a steep learning curve might not refrain from making most

of their parameters explicit, more often than not, developers will deliberately hide their game's governing structure. This might in itself suit a game's historical thesis, by masking a lack of agency, giving the illusion of choice, or deliberately tricking the player with incorrect or ambiguous information. In this regard, gaming as a medium seems diametrically opposed to the academic straightforwardness of the monograph. While it is theoretically possible to make a game that leaves most of its parameters open to players, it is doubtful if it would have a significant penetration among historians and students without previous knowledge of programming. Videogames show too much potential to be confined to similar pitfalls to those faced by 1970s cliometricians.

Maybe Clyde et al.'s paper's main shortcoming, however, is its insistence on adhering to the historical narrative structure, the argument that narrative is paramount to history by providing empathetic re-enactment, the process that allows us to understand past action. (55) According to the authors, the narrative is not only a pervasive tool of representation, but a fundamental principle of human cognition, without which humans would not be able to understand present action. Fundamental as it may be, the fact that we mentally organize facts into narratives does not mean that any historical text is internally organized by a narrative framework, nor that it needs to be so, as proponents of the Annales school, American social-science history, demographic history, or microhistory, among others, have shown. The crucial problem, however, is that the very theoretical basis on which they support the novelty of games has been developed to shift videogames away from analogies with established languages. Taking all of these into account, it is hard not to concede to Jeremy Antley that the authors have attempted to "paper-over" games by confining them to the logics of the written medium. (56)

A different and more promising point of view has been given by Jeremiah McCall. Like Clyde et al., he identifies in games the potential to translate historical theses. Like Clyde et al., he does not believe in an "anything-goes" approach to epistemology, highlighting the need to exert skepticism and judgment towards the multitude of truth claims offered by the numerous popular cultural authorities in contemporary media. Unlike Clyde et al., however, McCall is not as focused on the narrative form. Instead, he emphasizes the potential of games to work as system-based explanations of real phenomena. His reason is structural: Despite their ludic shell, games operate based on complex mathematical models, not unlike those employed in natural and social sciences. McCall is primarily interested in simulation games, which he defines as "rule based artificial conflicts] and competition^ that] simulate] dynamically one or more real-world systems." (57) Like aircraft or management simulations, historical simulations represent the past by focusing on how the intertwined and simultaneous relationships at work in a past society work together. They constitute "microworlds" governed by rules from which students can obtain knowledge later applicable to the macroworld. (58)

It is notable how close to the purpose of formal models his vision of videogames is. To Uskali Maki, explanatory models are a "simple and controlled mini-world in contrast to the complex and uncontrolled maxi-world." (59) Similarly, Robert Sugden defines models as parallel realities, possible worlds which are "instances of some category, some of whose instances actually exist in the real-world." (60) His observation is strikingly congruent to Claudio Fogu's remark that videogames bring history "under the sign of the possible" and speak of what may happen, not what had happened. (61) The author argues that "historical" videogames are not representations of the past per se, but virtual spaces that simulate historical possibilities. (62) Maki and Sugden would likely not subscribe to his predicament that games detach history from its reference to the real, as they both stress that models are useful to scientific inference only insofar as they resemble (and help us better understand) real world processes. (63) Nevertheless, the emphasis they place on the inherent unrealism of models is congruent to game scholars' remarks about the constructionist character of conceptual simulation games, and their case for unreal models within a paradigm of scientific realism is compatible with the purpose of a scholarly game. (64)

Like models in textual monographs, games are representations of ideas and theories about real world phenomena. Their purpose is to articulate and visualize our conception of things, be it the the way a Second-World-War submachine gun works, or the role of logistics in medieval economy. They are not general laws, but tools to discipline our thought and ensure internal and external coherence. (65) They are not lenses into a "blueprint of the world," but analytical devices; in Martin Gavin's words, "they describe the world analogically by representing their underlying theory mimetically." (66) More important, they are not at odds with the historical narrative. Rather, the narrative itself can be understood as one or a series of informal explanation models. (67) Contrary to Carl Hempel's assertion that figurative language is antithetical to analytical rigor, Deirdre McCloskey argues that metaphors themselves constitute models: They "thematise" a narrative and elevate it beyond the chronology, organizing "raw experience" in time just like differential equations in physics or engineering. (68) Indeed, McCloskey sees no incongruence between textual metaphors and mathematical abstractions, and defends that equations, Venn diagrams, summations and graphs are inherently metaphorical: tools to help us visualize meaning in data sets. (69)

However, there are important differences between textual and "gamic" historical models. Even more than the former, what characterizes the latter is the requirement of computational tractability, the utmost explicitness and consistency that software require to properly function. (70) It is precisely this obsession with internal consistency--what Barry O'Neill has called a "logic police"--that made formal models preferable to informal ones in many branches of political science. (71) Would the goal to bring this level of consistence to historiography be enough to justify using games as tools for history? Given how often "academic" games have failed to accommodate theories of "good gaming," one could think that there is little to be gained from looking at political science and economics for ways to improve historical games. (72) However, there are two indications in the specialized bibliography that point otherwise. The first is McCall's own preferred method for the criticism of historical simulations: his analysis of games as historical problem-spaces, which he defines as follows:
Players, or in the physical world, agents, with roles and goals
generally contextualized in space.

Choices and strategies the players can implement in an effort to
achieve their goals.

The outcome of choices and strategies (especially their success) are
shaped by [both t]he affordances of the space (which can include
quantifiable resources, cultural frameworks, psychological tendencies,
etc.) [and t]he constraints of the space (which can include finite
quantifiable resources and scarcity, cultural frameworks,
psychological tendencies, etc.). (73)

While McCall himself does not directly make the association, his concept is remarkably similar to the definition of "game" in game theory: a set of actors with their respective set of strategies and a set of outcomes for which actors have their own preferences (or utilities). This comes as no surprise, as analyzing decision-making in the face of multiple agents and situational constraints is exactly what game theory was designed to do. While the theory does not concern itself solely with ludic interactions, games, whether digital or analogue, can be analyzed with a game-theoretic lens, a fact attested to by the prevalence of ludic examples in game theory textbooks and courses. If problem spaces are as central to the understanding of historical games as McCall wills it (and, given their strategic nature, it is hard to argue otherwise), then there should be no hindrances in incorporating theses from game-theoretic explanations of society in videogames.

A second, even more telling indication can be found in the manual 100 Principles of Game Design, organized by Wendy Despain. (74) Written as a reference book for game-design students, the compilation includes principles borrowed from the social sciences alongside important ludological concepts. Entries include game theory fundamentals like Nash equilibrium, the prisoner's dilemma, dominant strategy, zero-sum games, and the minimax theorem, as well as concepts like Pareto optimality and the tragedy of the commons. The textbook's goal is not to encourage aspiring designers to experiment with novel principles, but to provide a toolbox of tricks of the trade already employed by professionals, which students should rely on to solve problems and improve their creations. There does not seem, therefore, to be any intrinsic hurdle in developing a game that is at once aligned with social scientific theory and a good game in its own right. On the contrary, as the contributors to 100 Principles seem to think, borrowing from the social sciences can make a game better in ludic terms.

This line of thought, however, would imply a shift from McCall's own preference for a "bottom-up" approach to historical understanding and generalization, or, in James Gee's words, against the centrality of "storing general concepts" and "applying abstract rules to experience." (75) Indeed, despite his enthusiasm, McCall does not believe a "microworld" could have the same explanatory value to history that it has for mathematics and hard sciences and is quick to point out the biases in videogame modeling. (76) By virtue of their mathematical nature, videogames are prone to a quantification bias, reducing immaterial, or abstract, notions to countable entities. As an example, he cites the "happiness" meter in strategy games, which translates a vague notion of compliance to authority to a scale of 0 to 100. Videogames simplify social structures, often leaving out crucial phenomena and constraining them to arbitrary timelines. Due to their focus on player's actions, many games have deliberately or unconsciously overblown the range of human agency, allowing gamers to make decisions more clearly and easily than the historical actors they embody, sometimes going against most sociological theories on the limits of agency. Lastly, videogames' reliance on counterfactual scenarios and their tendency to err on the side of contingency rather than on historical determinism make indefensible statements on alternative realities that ignore limitations faced by past individuals and civilizations.

Pertinent as they may be (and as McCall himself notices), these issues do not make digital simulations less problematic than the traditional historical narrative, which also carries its share of demerits. It is not uncommon to see historians shunning the prospect of quantitative analysis while employing figurative language to express a notion of quantification, increasing subjectivity while tacitly treating their objects as countable factors. Nor it is uncommon to read authors making statements about "relationships," "effects," and "influences" while denying an explicit commitment to causality. These persuasive writing tactics do not avoid the problems identified by detractors of formal modeling; rather, they make them implicit and, consequently, more impervious to scrutiny.

In some ways, it is precisely the nature of historical research that causes the generic language of formal models to instigate such foreboding. To Frank Zagare, one of the few researchers to have bridged the gap between history and formal modeling, the point of contention is complexity. Historical narratives are characterized by deep description, while models demand simplicity. (77) At first sight, it makes sense that the call to select facts and eliminate unwanted details is answered with wariness. To make these two modes of argumentation compatible, a few important conditions must be met.

Videogames' potential congruence with social-scientific theories still does not, in itself, answer how they can provide what is required of a historical investigation. In King et al.'s definition, it fulfills criterion 1 (having scientific inference as a goal), but falls short of criteria 2 and 3. Research steps that are not part of the explanation per se are missing, without which theses could not be formulated, let alone criticized. How do games integrate historical documents and source analysis? How do they problematize the difficulties in extracting information from the material, especially if the document is not "research-ready," such as an oral testimony that has to be transcribed, or a text that has to be reconstructed from conflicting manuscript sources? How do they present an overview of the existing scholarship, so that the reader can situate himself or herself in the debate and judge the potential partiality of the historian? Are they capable of presenting a discussion, by acknowledging the limits of the research and making suggestions for further work on the topic? Obviously, a scholarly game does not need to perform all of the duties of a historical monograph to be useful for historians. However, if the goal is to "replace" the written medium, as Clyde et al. suggest is possible, the whole "intellectual scaffolding" that guides an investigation from the proposal to the finished thesis must be present. (78)

Commercial gaming provides several examples of tentative ways to incorporate this material. A number of titles, from Pharaoh and Age of Empires to Valiant Hearts, have included in-game encyclopedias with some historical information. Paradox Entertainment's Crusader King II has even included a Wikipedia functionality that allows players to access the page's entry for all available historical characters. Some games have included and acknowledged collaboration with historical authorities. Napoleon: Total War nods to the collaboration with London's National Maritime Museum in providing the plans for the ships featured in-game. Second-World-War Submarine Simulator Aces of the Deep included interviews with former U-Boat officers, including Erich Topp (1914-2005), who would later also be listed as consultant for Silent Hunter II. Nevertheless, these addenda seldom criticize the historical sources (written or oral) that they invoke. Possibly, one of the roots of the problem is the fact that even when present, sources are rarely ever integrated with the mechanics of the games in which they are featured. Clyde et al.'s attempted solution in their game Shadows of the Utopia is to rely on a parallel with citations, delivered in-game as digital reproductions of historical documents contextually placed throughout the experience. (79)

Another viable approach would be foregoing novelty for practicality, treating the game, in the less bold of the two of Clyde et al.'s scenarios, as a supplement rather than a replacement. (80) Here, models in social sciences can provide us with another insight. The formal components of models are representations of structures of thought, not empirical data. They are designed to operate and visualize explanatory principles, and in themselves say nothing about the implications of these principles in the real world. "A model," Gibbard and Varian argue, "is a story with a specified structure," in which a structure is the "logical or mathematical form of a set of postulates" and a story is the textual component that explains each of them. (81) This second and just as valuable part of the investigative work almost always takes the shape of a written monograph, and sometimes even a narrative. (82) It would be possible, if videogames are expected to function as tools analogous to mathematical models, to pair them with a textual counterpart to form a hybrid historiographical artifact.

The game would operate according to the researcher's theoretical framework about the social systems he or she is studying and the parameters induced from his or her interpretation of sources. It would be used to visualize the application of theory and offer a basis for a conclusion. The textual complements, on the other hand, would contain the "intellectual scaffolding" behind each of the choices committed to in the game: the nature, typology, and manuscript tradition of the documental corpus; the current trends in historiography and the researcher's stance within them and all the other elements expected of a historical monograph. The text itself need not be a printable volume. Rather, as has been done elsewhere in the digital humanities, it could well be a website or another digital platform, maybe even the same one which hosts the game.

This new mode of historiography offers the possibility to bridge the gap in which cliometric history has fallen, by providing formal explanations that are easily understood and can be scrutinized by neophytes in mathematics and computing. As mentioned above, videogames are an extremely complex set of processes, but their core machinery is always hidden from the outside. (83) This allows historians to make use of formal modeling's unique capacity to formulate pertinent questions, create logically consistent causal chains, and design falsifiable systems of explanations, while avoiding subjecting the reader to the off-putting abstractness of algebraic formulae or programming, languages that few in the discipline are equipped to criticize.

Videogames do, however, offer a differential over static models. Like the computational simulations Martin Gavin has worked on, they "generate behaviors in simulated worlds," which can in turn be analyzed to test preliminary assumptions made by the researchers. (84) Simulations and models are not synonymous, and it is important here to elaborate on their differences. According to Willard McCarty, what distinguishes the latter from the former is its awareness of "the mechanisms by which it is created." (85) Simulations operate with fixed parameters and algorithms to which the user is blind. Models, on the other hand, operate with variables that can be changed to allow criticism of the encoded patterns. (86) In videogame parlance, modeling would require not only the application of scholarly explanation models to its rules, but the periodic modeling of its code to refine its premises, test different assumptions, and explore new scenarios.

A benchmark that explores videogames' potential both as a model and a simulation is the game Foldit, a project developed by the University of Washington's Center for Game Science and Department of Biochemistry. Its purpose is to make use of gamers' abilities as "natural problem solvers" to predict protein structures, by translating complex protein folding problems into puzzles that are intelligible to biochemistry neophytes. (87) The puzzles have no predetermined right answer, as they relate to questions that are still unanswered. A team of experts regularly introduces a problem and players are given the chance to compete with one another to fold the proteins in the most stable way possible. The assumption is that while knowledge and methodology are paramount to make breakthroughs in a field, the way scientists look at a given problem might not necessarily be the best one. By opening it up to a lay audience, unconstrained by the inclinations of professional researchers, they could arrive at novel, yet accurate solutions. Better yet, the data collected during gameplay could be used to teach human pattern-recognition techniques to computers used in traditional protein folding prediction. The game is an example of crowd-sourcing, "the process of leveraging public participation in or contributions to projects and activities." (88) The purpose of the practice is to incorporate non-scientists into scientific research by delegating tasks that do not require specialized knowledge, but that are nevertheless resource or time-intensive and/or particularly error-prone. In the humanities, crowd-sourcing has already been employed to great effect in activities such as document transcription, cataloguing, georeferencing, and content creation for cultural heritage projects. (89)

To limit the non-ideality of user-made proteins, Foldit made use of iterative game-design procedures mobilizing both expert feedback and players, to ensure that the experience remained intuitive, accessible, and fun. Tutorial levels were introduced to avoid overloading the gamer with information, and a cartoonish art design was adopted to make its visuals more appealing. In the first two years alone, the game counted with more than 57,000 players, which together solved around 600 puzzles. (90) More important, the game succeeded in its scientific discovery goals, and user-submitted solutions were incorporated in published articles. (91) Nevertheless, there was no valorization of "flexible knowledge," of players' common sense notions of biochemistry against established theories. What made this possible was precisely the opacity of the videogame format. Players did not have advanced knowledge of the science behind the model, nor were they aware of all the variables, most of which were purposely hidden by the developers. They did not, in short, know what they were doing. Yet, by mastering the system's rules, cleverly designed to represent real-world processes, they were able to arrive at scientifically sound predictions. In McCarty's terminology, Foldit contains a model elaborated by its creators, who constantly tinker with its parameters, perfect their puzzles, and upload new problems. However, it also presents simulations to its users, who play with the system unable to manipulate the code behind it.

The point could be made, following McCall's initial objection, that history is not "hard" enough as a science for simulations to be as predictive in history as they are in biochemistry. However, as other applications of computer modeling to history have shown, they need not be so. An illustrative example is the case of agent-based modeling (ABM), a computational methodology based on the study of relationships between autonomous agents and their environment. (92) ABM works by outfitting a software with a behavioral model of how actors should behave. The software proceeds to make simulations based on the model, which are then analyzed in search of emergent patterns. The methodology has been employed in fields as diverse as ecology, management, and economics. (93) In historical and archaeological research, it has already been used to study settlement dynamics in the US Southwest, the development of infantry tactics in the eighteenth century, and the economy of Mesopotamian communities, among other applications. (94)

ABM is related to complex systems analysis: the awareness that seemingly simple actions at the micro-level might converge to complex arrangements at the macro-level. According to Martin Gavin, it is a means for "identifying the relationships among individual rules of behavior and the larger cultural trends they might cause." (95) As such, it offers a bridge between micro-historical and structuralist historical models, trends of historiographical analysis that have not always communicated well. (96) Furthermore, ABM's capacity to handle emergent systems that change over time in unexpected ways makes it a useful tool for discussing non-linear processes, an inherent shortcoming in conventional models, and in historical narratives in particular. (97) Agent-based models are an interesting benchmark for scholarly games because they operate themselves like games, "simulat[ing] rule-bound behaviors and generating] outcomes based on those rules." (98) As Gavin puts it, these models indeed resemble "Sims games in which the player writes all the behaviors, controls all the variables, and then sets the system to run on autopilot." (99) Gavin does not believe the alleged "softness" of historical research poses a problem; rather, he argues that the contrast between "soft" historical research and "hard" scientific discovery rings hollow, as models need not comply with the "never-realizable" task of recreating the past or representing the world empirically to be useful. On the contrary, they must only "subject our general ideas about historical causation to scrutiny and experimentation." (100)

Scholarly games have the potential of adding a new dimension to traditional computational modeling. Peter Perla has argued that ludic simulations are ideal tools to reflect on what Nassim Nichols Taleb has labeled "Black Swans": impactful, unpredictable phenomena that are later over rationalized and deemed foreseeable. (101) Black Swans are important to history because they challenge our assumptions about the availability of information and play a crucial role in the construction of historical memory. As Perla puts it, games are effective at exploring these off-axis paths, because working human brains engaged in ludic activities "generate a wealth of ideas that go beyond those created by modelers working in more static environments." (102) An open "scientific-discovery" platform that invites scrutiny from thousands of people from different backgrounds would enrich this process in a level yet unseen in the discipline. Moreover, the widespread perception that videogames are flawed in their representations of history might work in the medium's advantage, making players more likely to be skeptical towards its arguments. (103) It would explore the full potential of Antley's "prosumers" without relinquishing the scholarly standards that inform the model itself.

On a practical level, the capacity of games to channel participation from a broader public could equip this new historiography with a kind of mass scrutiny unheard of in traditional research. Provided that the simulations are understandable by themselves and follow the principles of "good gaming," they could be played by a broader audience whose play patterns and outcomes could then be analyzed, and in an effort towards iterative design, improve, confirm, or discard the model lying underneath. This could be done either by releasing the game to the general public, or to more limited player bases, like undergraduate students and selected enthusiasts. Channeling the input of a large number of problem solvers could result in the establishment of patterns in a dataset far greater than any group of historians could alone work with. Arguably, the most important benefit to be reaped from this category of games, however, is their potential antidote against institutional biases. Department tradition, peer pressure, academic fashions, and politics are factors that commonly pigeonhole research into very similar themes and questions. Allowing key historical questions to be seen from a plurality of angles might offer an alternative to the stranglehold of academic factionalism; and keeping the human, lay element in the equation might soothe the spirits of historians concerned with the loss of the "humanistic" spirit in the throng of mathematization and the further detachment of academia from the concerns of the broader society. (104)

No evaluation of the potential of new historiographies is complete without acknowledging its pitfalls. As such, it is essential, no matter what shape scholarly videogames might come to possess, that its proponents do not succumb to a historicist self-aggrandizement. To announce "gamic" history as "an inevitable stage of present-day culture" and an irresistible "break with the past," as did postmodernism decades ago, will not only attract needless antagonism from established historians, but create an expectation no historiographical mode will be able to fulfill. (105)

The most critical hurdles are practical rather than epistemological. Creating a scholarly game will always be costlier, both in terms of capital and human talent, than a textual monograph. The success of departments of digital humanities notwithstanding, it would be Utopian to suppose that the text will be completely transcended. Scholarly games should be viewed as experiments whose adoption will likely be confined to first-world institutions and, judging by previous attempts at a "computational turn," be subject to far heavier scrutiny than traditional historiography. (106) The collaborative nature of game development might pose an even greater challenge. Historians will have to work with programmers, designers, and other professionals, and find a common basis for communication. If ventures into applied research have already brought firsthand experience of collaboration to the humanities, the ethos of the single author is still deeply ingrained in both historical practice and its institutional framework. As Fitzpatrick has pessimistically remarked, the advent of co-authorship might require a reformation of our whole academic culture. (107)

To what concerns game studies, I do not expect social-science-inspired scholarly games to become the norm among history scholars. A good number of authors have firmly stated their differences towards empiricism and the paradigm of scientific realism, and will probably not have their views on epistemology swayed by a videogame. Those concerned with using games for the purpose of teaching and popular history might also wish to concentrate on games that succeed in fostering people's historical imagination and have a tried-and-true history of classroom uses. Developing a scholarly game that manages to adequately perform two roles, those of research and teaching, is a challenge for historians who will work in the medium, although it should not necessarily be the only one. There is no need for hegemony in digital history. Rather, if any number of histories manage to explore the possibilities offered by formal theory, procedural rhetoric and player input, that would be a gain in itself.

As epistemologically sound, logically consistent, empirically informed systems, these scholarly games meet the standards expected of academic practice. By mobilizing multimedia resources, exchanges between experts in different fields of knowledge and the problem-solving skills of outsiders to the historical discipline, they manage to harness the potential of participative culture without flexibilizing its epistemological foundations. By combining text with procedural discourse, and shifting the explanatory load from the "spatialized logic of print" to processes, they offer a much wanted sandbox for critics of the narrative form to experiment with. Lastly, and arguably most important, with enough adhesion, social scientific scholarly games could make historians more receptive to the use of formal models, prompting interchange with the fields of political science and economics as has been already fruitfully done with domains like philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and demography. Doing so, it could reignite a reappraisal of several analytic procedures which were somewhat maligned by their associations with cliometrics, or with previous Victorian "positivistic" historiography, such as causality, generalization, and quantitative and statistical analyses. There is no backtracking to the old historicism of a century ago. That does not mean, however, that we cannot salvage the useful investigative principles it has bequeathed us. Fortunately, technology might give us a hand in repurposing them.

Vinicius Marino Carvalho is a PhD student in economic history at Universidade de Sao Paulo and coordinator of the Center of Digital Humanities of Laboratorio de Estudos Medievais (LEME).

(1.) Adam Chapman, "Privileging Form over Content: Analysing Historical Videogames," Journal of Digital Humanities 1, 2012 (available at:, accessed 17 June 2017).

(2.) Espen Aarseth, "Computer Game Studies, Year One," Game Studies 1, 2001 (available at:, accessed 17 June 2017).

(3.) Dawn Spring, "Gaming History: Computer and Video Games as Historical Scholarship," Rethinking History 2, 2015, 207-21: 207-8.

(4.) Jerremie Clyde, Howard Hopkins, and Glenn Wilkinson, "Beyond the 'Historical' Simulation: Using Theories of History to Inform Game Design," Loading... 9, 2012, 3-16.

(5.) Jeremy Antley, "Going Beyond the Textual in History," Journal of Digital Humanities 2, 2012 (available at:, accessed 17 June 2017).

(6.) Thomas Apperley, "Modding the Historians' Code: Historical Verisimilitude and the Counter-factual Imagination," in Playing with the Past: Digital Games and the Simulation of History, eds Matthew Wilhelm Kapell and Andrew B.R. Elliot, New York: Bloomsbury, 2013, 185-98.

(7.) William Uricchio, "Simulation, History, and Computer Games," in Handbook of Computer Game Studies, eds Joost Raessens and Jeffrey Goldstein, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005, 327-38:328.

(8.) Jerome de Groot, Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture, London: Routledge, 2009.

(9.) Nick Dyer-Witherford and Greig de Peuter, Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games, Minneapolis, MN: U. of Minnesota P., 2009, xxvi.

(10.) Antley, "Going Beyond."

(11.) Alun Munslow, Deconstructing History, London: Routledge, 1997; Keith Jenkins, Rethinking History, London: Routledge, 1991.

(12.) Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1986.

(13.) Bernard Waites, "In Defence of Historical Realism: A Further Response to Keith Jenkins," Rethinking History 3 2011, 319-34; Lawrence Stone and Gabrielle M. Spiegel, "History and Post-Modernism," Past and Present 135, 1992, 189-208; Stephen Davies, Empiricism and History, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

(14.) Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen, "Why We Need to Move from Truth-Functionality to Performativity in Historiography," History and Theory 54, 2015, 226-43.

(15.) Fernand Braudel, "Histoire et sciences sociales: La Longue Duree," Annales ESC 4, 1958, 725-53: 740.

(16.) F. Braudel, La Mediterannee et le monde mediterraneen a l'epoque de Philippe II, Paris: Armand Colin, 1949.

(17.) Douglass C. North, The Economic Growth of the United States 1790-1860, New York: Norton, 1966; Richard H. Tilly, Financial Institutions and Industrialization in the Rhineland 1815-1870, Madison, WI: U. of Wisconsin P., 1966; Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery, New York: Norton, 1974.

(18.) Among its most famous practitioners are (were) Peter N. Stearns, Charles and Louise Tilly, the various historians associated with Past and Present such as E.P. Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm, as well as Peter Burke; meanwhile, scholars such as Jan de Vries continued to use mathematical methods to explore economic history (most of these historians have moved beyond "social history," in their often long scholarly careers, but see P.N. Stearns, European Society in Upheaval: Social History Since 1800, New York: Macmillan, 1967; Charles, Louise, and Richard Tilly, The Rebellious Century, 1830-1930, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1975; E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class, London: Victor Gollancz, 1963; E. Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels, Manchester UP, 1959; Peter N. Burke, History and Social Theory, Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP; J. de Vries, The Economy of Europe in an Age of Crisis, 1600-1750, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 1976). See also Jurgen Kocka, Sozialgeschichte: Begriff, Entwicklung, Probleme, second ed., Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1986.

(19.) Steven Brams, Game Theory and the Humanities: Bridging Two Worlds, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011; Frank Zagare, The Games of July: Explaining the Great War, Ann Arbor, MI: U. of Michigan P., 2011; Robert H. Bates et al., Analytic Narratives, Princeton, NJ: U. of Princeton P., 1998; Vinicius Marino Carvalho, "Os Reis De Connacht E a Coroa Inglesa, 1189-1274: Uma Abordagem Jogo-Teorica," Master's thesis, Universidade de Sao Paulo, 2016.

(20.) Marten During and Martin Stark, "Historical Network Analysis," in Encyclopedia of Social Networks, ed. George A. Barnett, London: Sage Publishing, 2011, 593-5; Bonnie H. Erickson, "Social Networks and History: A Review Essay," Historical Methods 3, 1997, 149-57; John Haggerty and Sheryllynne Haggerty, "Temporal Social Network Analysis for Historians-a Case Study," paper presented at the Proceedings of the International Conference on Imaging Theory and Applications and International Conference on Information Visualization Theory and Applications, vol. 1: IVAPP, 2011, 207-17; Roger V. Gould, "Uses of Network Tools in Comparative Historical Research," in Comparative Historical Analysis in the Social Sciences, eds James Mahoney and Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2003, 241-69; Isabel Rose, "Reconstitution, representation graphique et enalyse des reseaux de pouvoir au haut Moyen Age. Approche des pratiques sociales de l'aristocratie a partir de l'exemple d'Odon de Cluny (t942)," REDES 5, 2011, available at:, accessed 17 June 2017.

(21.) Anne Kelly Knowles, Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data, and Gis Are Changing Historical Scholarship, New York: Esri Press, 2008.

(22.) Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba, Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research, Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1994, 4.

(23.) David Hackett Fischer, Historians' Fallacies: Towards a Logic of Historical Thought, New York: Harper Perennial, 1970, xv; Donald N. McCloskey, "History, Differential Equations, and the Problem of Narration," History and Theory 1, 1991, 21-36; Michael Shermer, "Exorcising Laplace's Demon: Chaos and Antichaos, History and Metahistory," History and Theory 1, 1995, 59-83: 66.

(24.) Ferdinand Saussure, Course in General Linguistics, New York: Philosophical Library, 1959.

(25.) Gabrielle M. Spiegel, "History, Historicism, and the Social Logic of the Text in the Middle Ages," Speculum 1, 1990, 59-86: 60.

(26.) Clifford Geertz, Negara: The Theatre State in Nineteenth-Century Bali, Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1981, 136.

(27.) L. Althusser, Pour Marx, Paris: Francois Maspero, 1965; H. Aram Veeser, The New Historicism, New York: Routledge, 1989.

(28.) Spiegel, "History, Historicism," 76.

(29.) Rudiger Graf, "Interpretation, Truth, and Past Reality: Donald Davidson Meets History," Rethinking History 3, 2003, 387-402; Peter Zagorin, "Historiography and Postmodernism: Reconsiderations," History and Theory 3, 1990, 263-74; Joyce Appleby, "One Good Turn Deserves Another: Moving Beyond the Linguistic: A Response to David Harlan," American Historical Review 5, 1989, 1326-32; Stone and Spiegel, "History and Post-Modernism," 189-208.

(30.) David B. Nyborg and Joke Hermes, "What Is Game Studies Anyway?," European Journal of Cultural Studies 2, 2008, 131-47: 133.

(31.) Cary Nelson, Paula A. Treichler, and Lawrence Grossberg, "Cultural Studies: An Introduction," in Cultural Studies, eds Cary Nelson, Paula A. Treichler, and Lawrence Grossberg, New York: Routledge, 1992, 1-7.

(32.) Anne Burdick et al., Digital Humanities, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012, 30.

(33.) Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology and the Future of Academia, New York: NYU Press, 2011, 14.

(34.) Helle Porsdam, "Digital Humanities: On Finding the Proper Balance between Qualitative and Quantitative Ways of Doing Research in the Humanities," Digital Humanities Quarterly 3, 2013, available at: http://www.digitalhumanities.Org/dhq/vol/7/3/000167/000167.html, accessed 17 June 2017.

(35.) Didier Mehu, Neri de Barros Almeida, and Marcelo Candido da Silva, Pourquoi etudier le Moyen Age? Les medievistes face aux usages sociaux du passe, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2012.

(36.) Associacao Brasileira de Estudos Medievais, "Carta Da Abrem Sobre a Base Nacional Comum Curricular (Bncc)," Universidade Federal de Goias, 2015 available at:, accessed 17 June 2017.

(37.) Demetrio Magnoli and Elaine Senise Barbosa, "Proposta Do Mec Para Ensino De Historia Mata a Temporalidade," Folha de Sao Paulo 2015, available at:, accessed 17June 2017.

(38.) King, Keohane, and Verba, Designing Social Inquiry, 8-9.

(39.) Ibid., 46.

(40.) Ibid.

(41.) Ann Curthoys, "Crossing Over: Academic and Popular History," Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 1,2012,7-18: 15.

(42.) Ann Curthoys and Ann McGrath, How to Write History That People Want to Read, Sidney: U. of New South Wales P., 2009; Stephen J. Pyne, Voice and Vision: A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Non-Fiction, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2010; Donald N. McCloskey, "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature 21, 1983, 481-517.

(43.) Clyde, Hopkins, and Wilkinson, "Beyond the 'Historical' Simulation," 6.

(44.) Ibid.

(45.) Ian Bogost, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.

(46.) Miguel Sicart, "Against Procedurality," Game Studies 3, 2011, available at:, accessed 17 June 2017.

(47.) Adam Chapman, Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice, London: Routledge, 2016, 20-21.

(48.) Bogost, Persuasive Games, 3.

(49.) Ibid., x.

(50.) Clyde, Hopkins, and Wilkinson, "Beyond the 'Historical' Simulation," 6.

(51.) Frans Mayra, An Introduction to Game Studies: Games in Culture, Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, 2008,17.

(52.) Vivian Sobschack, "'Surge and Splendor': A Phenomenology of the Hollywood Historical Epic," Representations 29, 1990, 24-49.

(53.) Clyde, Hopkins, and Wilkinson, "Beyond the 'Historical' Simulation," 10.

(54.) Chapman, Digital Games as History, 143.

(55.) Clyde, Hopkins, and Wilkinson, "Beyond the 'Historical' Simulation," 5.

(56.) Antley, "Going Beyond."

(57.) Jeremiah McCall, "Navigating the Problem Space: The Medium of Simulation Games in the Teaching of History," History Teacher 1, 2012, 9-28: 9.

(58.) Ibid., 10.

(59.) Uskali Maki, "Models Are Experiments, Experiments Are Models," journal of Economic Methodology 2, 2005, 303-15: 306.

(60.) Robert Sugden, "Credible Worlds: The Status of Theoretical Models in Economics," Journal of Economic Methodology 1, 2000, 1-31: 25.

(61.) Claudio Fogu, "Digitalizing Historical Consciousness," History and Theory 2, 2009, 103-21:121.

(62.) Ibid., 118.

(63.) Ibid., 121; Maki, "Models Are Experiments," 304; Sugden, "Credible Worlds," 1.

(64.) The term has been introduced by Chapman (see Chapman, Digital Games as History, 69).

(65.) King, Keohane, and Verba, Designing Social Inquiry, 7-8.

(66.) Martin Gavin, "Agent-Based Modelling and Historical Simulation," Digital Humanities Quarterly 8, 2014, available at: http://www.digitalhumanities.Org/dhq/vol/8/4/000195/000195.html, accessed 17 June 2017.

(67.) Fischer, Historians' Fallacies, xv.

(68.) McCloskey, "History," 22.

(69.) McCloskey, "Rhetoric of Economics," 505.

(70.) Willard McCarty, "Modeling: A Study in Words and Meanings," in A Companion to Digital Humanities, eds Susan Schreibman et al., Oxford: Blackwell, 2004, 256-7.

(71.) Barry O'Neill, "Game Models of Peace and War: Some Recent Themes," in Diplomacy Games: Formal Models and International Negotiations, eds Rudolf Avenhaus and I. William Zartman, Berlin: Springer, 2007, 25-44: 31.

(72.) Kevin Kee et al., "Towards a Theory of Good History through Gaming," Canadian Historical Review 2, 2009, 303-26.

(73.) Jeremiah McCall, "Historical Simulations as Problem Spaces: Criticism and Classroom Use," Journal of Digital Humanities 2, 2012, available at:, accessed 17 June 2017.

(74.) Wendy Despain, ed., 100 Principles of Game Design, San Francisco, CA: New Riders, 2013.

(75.) James Gee, Good Video Games and Good Learning, New York: Peter Lang, 2007, 148-49.

(76.) McCall, "Navigating the Problem Space," 19-21.

(77.) Zagare, Games of July, 12.

(78.) King, Keohane, and Verba, Designing Social Inquiry, 13; Clyde, Hopkins, and Wilkinson, "Beyond the 'Historical' Simulation," 14.

(79.) Clyde, Hopkins, and Wilkinson, "Beyond the 'Historical' Simulation," 12.

(80.) Ibid., 14.

(81.) Allan Gibbard and Hal R. Varian, "Economic Models," The Journal of Philosophy 11, 1978,664-77:666.

(82.) Bates et al., Analytic Narratives.

(83.) Chapman, Digital Games as History, 143.

(84.) Gavin, "Agent-Based Modelling."

(85.) McCarty, "Modeling," 263.

(86.) Ibid., 264.

(87.) Seth Cooper et al., "The Challenge of Designing Scientific Discovery Games," paper presented at the Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, Monterey, California, 2010, 40-7.

(88.) Mark Hedges and Stuart Dunn, Crowd-Sourcing Scoping Study, London: Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2012, 3.

(89.) Ibid., 54-56.

(90.) Cooper et al., "The Challenge of Designing."

(91.) Firas Khatib et al., "Algorithm Discovery by Protein Folding Game Players," PNAS 47, 2011, 18949-53; Firas Khatib et al., "Crystal Structure of a Monomeric Retroviral Protease Solved by Protein Folding Game Players," Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 10 2011, 1175-7; Christopher B. Eiben et al., "Increased Diels-Alderase Activity through Backbone Remodeling Guided by Foldit Players," Nature Biotechnology 30, 2012, 190-2.

(92.) Simon J.E. Taylor, ed., Or Essentials: Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

(93.) See Gabriel Wurzer, Kerstin Kowarik, and Hans Reschreiter, Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation in Archaeology, New York: Springer, 2015; Taylor, ed., Or Essentials; Alexander Smajgj and Olivier Barreteau, Empirical Agent-Based Modelling: Challenges and Solutions, New York: Springer, 2014; Lynne Hamill and Nigel Gilbert, Agent-Based Modelling in Economics, Chichester: Wiley, 2016.

(94.) Belinda Roman, "An Agent-Based Model for the Humanities," Digital Humanities Quarterly 1 2013, available at: http://www.digitalhumanities.Org/dhq/vol/7/l/000142/000142.html, accessed 17 June 2017; X. Rubio-Campillo, J.M. Cela, and F.X.H Cardona, "The Development of New Infantry Tactics During the Early Eighteenth Century: A Computer Simulation Approach to Modern Military History," in Or Essentials: Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation, ed. Simon J.E. Taylor, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 208-30; Tony J. Wilkinson et al., "Modeling Settlement Systems in a Dynamic Environment: Case Studies from Mesopotamia," in The Model-Based Archaeology of Socionatural Systems, eds Timothy A. Kohler and Sander E. van der Leeuw, Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, 2007, 175-208.

(95.) Gavin, "Agent-Based Modelling."

(96.) See Jeffrey C. Alexander and Bernhard Giesen, "Introduction: From Reduction to Linkage: The Long View of the Micro-Macro Debate," in The Micro-Macro Link, eds Jeffrey C. Alexander et al., Berkeley, CA: U. of California P., 1987, 1-14.

(97.) George A. Reisch, "Chaos, History, and, Narrative," History and Theory 1, 1991, 1-20; McCloskey, "History, Differential Equations"; Shermer, "Exorcising Laplace's Demon"; Paul A. Roth and Thomas A. Ryckman, "Chaos, Clio, and Scientific Illusions of Understanding," History and Theory 1, 1995, 30-44.

(98.) Gavin, "Agent-Based Modelling."

(99.) Ibid.

(100.) Ibid.

(101.) Peter P. Perla, "Operations Research, Systems Analysis, and Wargaming: Riding the Cycle of Research," in Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming, eds Pat Harrigan and Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016, 159-82: 178; Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan, New York: Random House, 2007.

(102.) Perla, "Operations Research," 178.

(103.) McCall, "Navigating the Problem Space," 23.

(104.) Porsdam, "Digital Humanities."

(105.) Zagorin, "Historiography and Postmodernism," 264.

(106.) We should be particularly mindful of the admonition made by Lawrence Stone in the 1980s: "It is just those projects that have been the most lavishly funded, the most ambitious in the assembly of vast quantities of data by armies of paid researchers, the most scientifically processed by the very latest in computer technology, the most mathematically sophisticated in presentation, which have so far turned out to be the most disappointing" (Lawrence Stone, The Past and the Present Revisited, New York: Routledge, 1987, 84).

(107.) Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence, 11.
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Author:Carvalho, Vinicius Marino
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Date:Dec 22, 2017

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