Historia Ludens — Conference on History and Gaming, 19 May 2017

Organized by the History Division and the Digital Arts and Humanities Research Group

University of Huddersfield

19 May 2017

This conference follows up on the workshop “Playing with History” that has been held in November 2015 in Huddersfield. Gaming and History is gaining more and more traction, either as means to “gamify” history education or museum experiences, or as computer games as prism into history like the popular History Respawned podcast series (http://www.historyrespawned.com/).

Besides discussing gamification or using (computer) games, we also want to explore gaming and playing in a broader historical-cultural sense. Can “playing” be used as category for historical scholarship, maybe alongside other categories such as gender, space or class? Historian Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens from 1938 looked at play and its importance for human culture. Can historians make similar cases for more specific histories? In recent publications historians have pointed to the connection between cities and play. Simon Sleight, for example, has worked on the history of childhood and urban history, i.e. young people appropriating public urban spaces for their ludic activities and their struggle with authorities over this. Archaeologists, as another example, have shown that much of the urban infrastructure of Ancient Rome was dedicated to games, playing and gambling, as it had such a big role in Roman life.

The conference will thus discuss terms like “gaming”, “playing” and “history” in broad terms. There are academic papers in the morning and round-table sessions in the afternoon for networking and demos.

Tickets (£10) are available via the University of Huddersfield web shop [please note: the ticket sale is now closed; please email to the address below and we’ll see if we have tickets left]. Please note: there are travel/conference bursaries for postgraduate students available on request; please contact Dr Alexander von Lünen (a.f.vonlunen@hud.ac.uk) for details.

The conference venue is Heritage Quay on the University of Huddersfield Queensgate campus. For directions please check here.

Time Activity
09:00 Registration
09:15 Welcome
09:30 Keynote: Adam Chapman, U of Gothenburg: Playing with the Past in the Present and into the Future — How Games Change our Relationship with History
10:30 Coffee Break
Panel session 1
10:45 Yannick Rochat, U of Lausanne: An Overview of Video Games with historical settings (1981–2015)
11:05 Luke Holmes, SS Great Britain Trust: Historical Games in Heritage Practice: designing a game for museum visitors
11:25 Holly Nielsen, U of Cambridge: Board Games — Propaganda and Politics through Play
11:45 Break
Panel session 2
11:50 Juan Hiriart, U of Salford: Designing and Using Digital Games as Historical Learning Contexts for Primary School Classrooms
12:20 Nick Webber, Birmingham City University: History, memory, and online game communities
12:40 Lisa Traynor & Jonathan Ferguson, Royal Armouries Leeds: Shooting for Accuracy — Historicity and Video Gaming
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Introduction to Round-Table sessions, formation of groups
14:15 Round-Table Sessions
15:15 Tea Break
15:30 Plenary discussion
16:00 Summary / Farewell
16:15 End of conference
18:00 Dinner (optional, not included in the conference fee)
Organisation committee:

Chair: Dr Alexander von Lünen, Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities, History Division

Committee: Dr Pat Cullum, School Coordinator for Student Experience, School of Music, Humanities and Media; Dr Katherine Lewis, Senior Lecturer in History, History Division; Dr Benjamin Litherland, Lecturer in Media and Popular Culture, Media Studies Division.

With kind support from the




  1. Hello, the link to the web shop results in a ‘page not found’ and I can’t find the item via searching the web shop.


    • derknobs · May 2, 2017

      Hi Graham,

      the ticket sale is now closed. Email the specified email address, and then we can work something out.



  2. wearesweetart · May 8, 2017

    Good afternoon. Are you intending to live stream any of the conference, or release papers post-conference? Thanks, Charlotte


    • derknobs · May 8, 2017

      No live stream, but we plan to publish proceedings.



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s