Playing Alternative Histories: Post colonialism, History, and Videogames

Videogames allow players to replay their stories; strategy games based on historical situations, therefore, effectively play out historical events from a counter-factual perspective. In postcolonialist historiography, the past is often viewed as a colonized terrain where indigenous histories have been eradicated and rewritten by colonizing powers. Many videogames attempt to represent history from a critical and “othered” perspective. On the one hand, while videogames claim to provide a critical reading of history they games often end up supporting the dominant narrative and on the other, as games are played out, they continually challenge dominant narratives by changing the conclusions, the events and the validity of monolinear readings. This chapter will address the key problems regarding the postcolonial (re)construction of temporality and history in terms of how videogames provide a hitherto unique perspective on the issue.