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The History Respawned Podcast

History Respawned

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The History Respawned Podcast is a podcast where professional historians consider historical video games and games culture. The podcast includes audio versions of History Respawned's YouTube interviews with scholars. In addition, the podcast includes...Show More
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1:00:21 | Aug 16th

Bob and John talk about John's playthrough of Wolfenstein Youngblood (minor spoilers), Bob's research trip to the Strong Museum of Play, and the non-historical games we've been playing. Games discussed include Days Gone, No Man's Sky, League of Legen...Show More

40:43 | Aug 1st

Bob talks with Dr. Lauren Kassell about Astrologaster. Topics include Elizabethan London, Medical Astrology, Forman and Napier's Casebooks, and consulting on historical games. To learn more about Simon Forman and to see his casebooks, visit https:/...Show More

16:26 | Jul 20th

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Bob talks with Dr. Roger Launius about Kerbal Space Program. Topics include the history of the Apollo Program, the Space Race, the Cold War, and Apollo 11. Please consider supporting us on...Show More

47:23 | Jun 28th

John welcomes Maggie Greene, assistant professor of Modern Chinese History & East Asian Cultural History at Montana State, to talk about Total War: Three Kingdoms. Creative Assembly’s latest Total War effort makes some interesting departures from pre...Show More

1:22:35 | May 23rd

Bob and John discuss Hearts of Iron IV, in particular the game's DLC Waking the Tiger and Man the Guns. John praises Waking the Tiger's depiction of Asia in WWII, while Bob takes issue with Man the Guns' counterfactual scenario based around the Confe...Show More

28:05 | Apr 26th

Bob talks with Andrew Reinhard about Heaven's Vault, the latest game from Inkle Studios. Topics include archaeology, the depiction of archaeologists in games, parsing ancient languages, tavern archaeology, artifact colonialism, and archaeogaming. Pl...Show More

30:03 | Mar 31st

Bob talks with Meaghan Walker about Lucas Pope's Return of the Obra Dinn. Topics include seafaring in the Napoleonic Era, nostalgia for the Age of Sail, the Memento Mortem and historical deduction, the history of the East India Company, and mythical ...Show More

51:07 | Mar 1st

Bob talks with Dr. Charlie Thomas about Far Cry 2. Topics include postcolonial African warfare, Cold War ideologies in postcolonial struggles, mercenaries in modern history, the importance of the environment in African combat, the role of displaced p...Show More

22:19 | Feb 25th

Bob talks with game designer Chris Bateman about his new historical video game, Silk, set on the Silk Road in 200 CE You can learn more about Silk and its Kickstarter by going to https://blog.ihobo.com/silk.html Please consider supporting us on Pat...Show More

41:47 | Feb 19th

Bob and John discuss John's latest history and games course, and talk about John's playthrough of Red Dead Redemption 2. Please consider supporting us on Patreon! www.patreon.com/historyrespawned Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by texasradiofish (c...Show More

11:13 | Jan 4th

John talks about Bethesda's latest entry into the venerable Fallout series, Fallout 76. The attempts to create a different experience to previous games have caused for a mixed reaction from long time players, but a lack of NPCs and a renewed focus on...Show More

47:39 | Dec 14th, 2018

Bob talks with Esther Wright about Red Dead Redemption 2. Topics include Rockstar Games and history; Red Dead 2's depiction of women, race, and Native Americans; and the ways in which Rockstar games are promoted and discussed in games media. *Warning...Show More

34:47 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Bob talks with Dr. Kate Cook about Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Topics include the Peloponnesian War, life in Athens and Sparta, women in ancient Greece, the importance of the arts and artists in Athenian society, the politics of Greek plays, and the na...Show More

42:48 | Oct 11th, 2018

Bob talks with historian Holly Nielsen about her research on modern British board games, her play-through of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, historical accuracy in games, and using dice in the archive. Check out Holly's review of AC Odyssey in The Guardia...Show More

46:22 | Sep 18th, 2018

Bob and John discuss Assassin's Creed Discovery Tour, museums, edutainment, Yakuza 0, The Last of Us, Zelda Breath of the Wild, Red Dead Redemption 2, Battlefield V, and Civilization VI on the Switch. *We lost our first recording track around the 9 ...Show More

47:40 | Jun 13th, 2018

Bob and John talk about E3’s slate of games with historical settings or themes. There were a lot, as usual! Topics include Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Fallout 76, Battlefield V, Skull and Bones, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Ghost of Tsushima, Nioh 2, Sekir...Show More

46:06 | Jun 4th, 2018

Bob talks with writer Rob Rath about his column Critical Intel, his new gig with Extra History, and historical video games. *Interview recorded March 2018. Read more from Rob at his website: https://robwritespulp.com/ Please consider supporting ...Show More

41:48 | Mar 20th, 2018

John invites Bob and special guest Robert Greene II to discuss the treatment of twentieth century American history in Machinegames' Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. We discuss representations of the Black Panther movement, American racial issues pri...Show More

31:28 | Feb 20th, 2018

Bob talks with Harvard Egyptologist Peter Der Manuelian about Assassin's Creed Origins. Topics include Ptolemy, Cleopatra, Cultural Imperialism, "Blackwashing" vs. "Whitewashing," the Giza Pyramids, and tourist traps. Please consider supporting us o...Show More

1:06:01 | Jan 29th, 2018

Bob and John discuss John's recent History and Games class, Bob's playthrough of Assassin's Creed Origins, and the historical worldview of the Metal Gear Solid series. Support History Respawned on Patreon at www.patreon.com/historyrespawned Music i...Show More

10:25 | Jan 22nd, 2018

Bob discusses the coverage surrounding Call of Duty WWII, and considers problems related to public memory and scholarship.

38:35 | Dec 11th, 2017

Bob and John discuss Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Topics include the popular memory of Nazi Germany, and the usability of alternate and counterfactual histories. This episode includes spoilers regarding the entirety of The New Colossus. Support...Show More

42:18 | Nov 22nd, 2017

Bob and Dr. Zach Doleshal discuss Lucas Pope's Papers, Please. Topics include life under communism, the Eastern Bloc in the 1980s, secret police and government surveillance. Dr. Zach Doleshal profile: http://www.shsu.edu/academics/history/faculty/z...Show More

32:29 | Oct 31st, 2017

Bob is joined by Dr. Michelle Brock to discuss Diablo 3. Topics include historical depictions of angels, demons, witches, demonic possession and hell. Dr. Brock's book: https://www.routledge.com/Satan-and-the-Scots-The-Devil-in-Post-Reformation-Sco...Show More

42:49 | Oct 24th, 2017

Bob welcomes John to chat about indie game Four Horsemen, the historicism of dystopia in Guerilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn, and plans for programming for the rest of the fall season. We will be releasing episodes on Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Call o...Show More

27:37 | Oct 13th, 2017

Bob talks with Ubisoft's Resident Historian Maxime Durand about Assassin's Creed: Origins and the newly announced Discovery Tour Mode. Topics include historical research, Ancient Egyptian history, and game based education. Support History Respawned ...Show More

42:28 | Oct 4th, 2017

John welcomes University of California, Davis professor Michael Dylan Foster to discuss Team Ninja’s Nioh, a complex action game that takes liberties with interpretations of Japanese folklore. As Michael explains, this is nothing new: the concept of ...Show More

29:16 | Sep 22nd, 2017

Bob and Professor David Andress discuss Assassin's Creed Unity. Topics include the contested memory of the Revolution in France as well as the triumphs and failures of Ubisoft's version of Revolution-era Paris. Originally released on YouTube on Janua...Show More

30:02 | Sep 8th, 2017

Bob talks with Tracy Fullerton about Walden, a game. Topics include Henry David Thoreau's life and work, historical accuracy in games, the context of life in the 1840s, civil disobedience, and bean farming. Educators can secure a free copy of Walden...Show More

54:08 | Aug 18th, 2017

Bob is joined by John Harney and Jeremiah McCall to talk about using Twine and other game development tools for history classes. Topics include student made games, the development process with students, and accessibility. You can read more about Jer...Show More

28:09 | Aug 14th, 2017

Bob and Dr. Kyle Shelton discuss Urban Empire. Topics include city building games, the history of urban development, and the politics of big cities. Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by texasradiofish (c) 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribu...Show More

42:24 | Jul 27th, 2017

Bob is joined by Jessica W. Luther to discuss two games in the Assassin's Creed Series. Discussion centers on slavery and black life in the 18th Century Atlantic World. Originally broadcast on YouTube on June 27, 2014. Music is Symphony 40 in G mino...Show More

42:25 | Jun 30th, 2017

Bob, Evan Torner and Niclas Heckner discuss Wolfenstein: The New Order. Topics include the game's depiction of Nazi futurism, concentration camps and German language in video games. Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by texasradiofish (c) 2015 Licensed...Show More

40:30 | Jun 16th, 2017

Bob and John talk E3 2017 and the slate of games with historical settings or themes. There were a bunch! Pirates seem all the rage these days, there is room for optimism that the rest the main Assassin's Creed franchise took has resulted in some grea...Show More

29:53 | May 18th, 2017

Bob discusses Never Alone with the game's lead writer, Ishmael Hope. Topics include Iñupiaq storytelling, arctic weather, and the challenges of presenting indigenous culture in western media.

42:42 | Apr 27th, 2017

Bob and John discuss the reveal of Call of Duty WWII and the recent games they've been playing. Topics include history, public memory, Irish accents, and assassination.

44:31 | Apr 24th, 2017

Bob talks with game developer Kevin Chen about his new game Four Horsemen. Topics include the history of immigration and refugee crises as well as how the Syrian Civil War and Trump's Muslim Ban have influenced the development of Four Horsemen. Fou...Show More

26:39 | Mar 31st, 2017

Bob talks with Professor Ivana Maček about This War of Mine and the history of the Bosnian War. Topics include The Siege of Sarajevo, everyday life during the siege, looting, bartering, scavenging, and ethnic and racial violence. Music is Symphony 4...Show More

42:09 | Mar 10th, 2017

Bob talks with Zoyander Street about history, academia, game studies, game preservation, and his curation work at Critical Distance. This episode was recorded at GDC 17. Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by texasradiofish (c) 2015 Licensed under a Cre...Show More

23:57 | Mar 8th, 2017

Bob talks with Dr. Laine Nooney of Georgia Tech about her history of Sierra On-Line, collecting oral histories from the game industry, gender in video game history, preserving video game history, and problems facing video game historians. This episod...Show More

29:55 | Mar 7th, 2017

Bob talks with Don Rawitsch, one of the original creators of The Oregon Trail game. Topics include the initial inspiration behind the game, how the game was received by Don's students and fellow instructors, and how Don determined what to include in ...Show More

22:48 | Mar 6th, 2017

Bob talks with Navid Khonsari of iNK Stories about 1979 Revolution: Black Friday and using history for games. Topics include the response to 1979 Revolution, balancing the competing views of the Iranian Revolution, and the need to have more serious g...Show More

28:22 | Mar 3rd, 2017

Bob is at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), and in this first broadcast from the show he talks with William Harms about the writing and development of Mafia III. Topics include New Orleans as an "aspirational" city, the research behind the game's...Show More

34:07 | Feb 7th, 2017

In this slightly extended version of the conversation that informed our video episode, John talks about Ultimate General: Gettysburg with Michael Woods of Marshall University. We talk about how hobbyist culture and the Civil War, how the war has beco...Show More

38:46 | Jan 23rd, 2017

Bob and John get together to talk about the Assassin’s Creed film that came out over the holidays. John hasn’t seen it but Bob has a lot of thoughts on why it perhaps didn’t work as well as it could have despite (or perhaps because of?) a clear and s...Show More

42:33 | Dec 22nd, 2016

John talks with Tonio Andrade about Civilization VI and how the game (and series as whole) reflects broader issues when discussing history. Topics include discussion of Civ's support of a progressive form of history based on western experience, how C...Show More

49:01 | Dec 17th, 2016

Bob talks with Adam Chapman about his new book called Digital Games as History: How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice (Routledge, 2016). Topics include games as popular history, how historical games differ from his...Show More

46:48 | Nov 23rd, 2016

Bob and John get together to talk about the most recent History Respawned episode, focused on Battlefield 1, and our upcoming episode discussing Civilization VI. We jump at the chance to talk barbarians, city-states, and other fun Civ things. Bob als...Show More

50:50 | Nov 18th, 2016

Bob talks with Chris Kempshall about Battlefield 1. Topics include the controversy over the game's depiction of the war, the problems with depicting the First World War in a game, trench warfare and boredom, the war that ended nothing versus the war ...Show More

15:36 | Nov 1st, 2016

Bob is joined in spirit by Professor Leonard Moore, as he discusses history and Mafia III. Topics include New Orleans in the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement, Mark Essex, the Black Panther Party, and the Cold War. Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by ...Show More

48:25 | Oct 28th, 2016

Bob sits down with John to discuss the trailer for the recently announced Red Dead Redemption 2 and another trailer for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie. Bob also talks to us about the newest episode of History Respawned featuring 2K Games’ Mafia ...Show More

43:36 | Oct 4th, 2016

John and Bob team up to welcome guest Robert Greene II for a conversation about BioShock and American intellectual history. We discuss character Andrew Ryan's roots in mid-twentieth-century American history and the broader contexts of objectivism in ...Show More

15:18 | Sep 27th, 2016

Bob talks with Professor William Deverell about L.A. Noire. Topics include the postwar boom, the history of the LAPD, and race and ethnic relations in Los Angeles. Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by texasradiofish (c) 2015 Licensed under a Creative ...Show More

40:19 | Sep 13th, 2016

Bob and John get together to talk about the syllabus for Bob's new class at Louisiana Tech. We chat about the readings for the class and Bob's thinking going into what kind of writing to choose, and the different kinds of assignments and student acti...Show More

35:46 | Sep 6th, 2016

This week we are sharing the audio from a video episode recorded in July 2015, where John discusses Tropico 5 with our guest Dr. Renata Keller of Boston University. Topics include the history of US-Cuba relations, racial dynamics in the Caribbean, an...Show More

43:14 | Aug 23rd, 2016

Bob and John sit down to discuss the upcoming schedule this autumn for History Respawned. We’re going to be taking on a lot of new releases in the next few months, with Mafia 3, Battlefield 1 and Civilization VI just offering more proof there is plen...Show More

31:48 | Aug 17th, 2016

Bob and guest historian Matthew Gabriele discuss the medieval inspired RPGs Dragon Age Inquisition and The Witcher 3. Topics include popular medievalism, violence, race, religion and dragons. This episode is a rebroadcast of an interview posted on Y...Show More

43:00 | Jun 30th, 2016

Bob talks with Christopher Dietrich and Joseph Parrot about Call of Duty Black Ops 1 and 2. Topics include the history of the CIA, the global Cold War, the Angolan Civil War, Jonas Savimbi, Manuel Noriega, historical representation, Black Ops lawsui...Show More

38:29 | Jun 23rd, 2016

Bob and guest historian Jonathan Hunt discuss Fallout 4’s depiction of nuclear war and the game’s warped version of 1950s American culture. *Minor spoilers at 14:50 and 27:24 This episode is a rebroadcast of an interview posted on YouTube on Decembe...Show More

38:08 | May 31st, 2016

Bob and historian Christopher Heaney discuss Uncharted 4. Topics include archeology versus grave robbing, the real Nathan Drake/Indiana Jones, the meaning of treasure, and traps in tombs. This is an extended version of the YouTube episode, and featur...Show More

21:49 | May 24th, 2016

Bob and John discuss the recently released trailer for the Assassin's Creed movie, staring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. In addition to Fassbender puns, this episode includes a brief discussion of Ubisoft's plans for an Assassin's Creed m...Show More

52:30 | May 17th, 2016

Bob and John get together this episode to talk about the most recent History Respawned Episode on 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (0:32) and the next episode on Uncharted 4 (12:29). We also look forward a little and chat about EA Dice and Frostbite’s d...Show More

32:06 | May 3rd, 2016

Bob and Dr. Zackery Heern discuss 1979 Revolution Black Friday. Topics include revolutionary ideologies, religion, and America's place in the Iranian Revolution. Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by texasradiofish (c) 2015 Licensed under a Creative Co...Show More

43:11 | Apr 5th, 2016

John talks to Dr. Christine Baker of Indiana University of Pennsylvania about Crusader Kings 2: Sword of Islam. We talk about the Sunni/Shi’ite divide in the medieval world and the geopolitics that arose from that, interactions between the Islamic Wo...Show More

45:00 | Mar 29th, 2016

John talks to Dr. Andrew Byrd and Dr. Brenna Reinhart Byrd of the University of Kentucky about their work on Far Cry Primal, for which they created two distinct languages: Wenja and Izila. We discuss Proto-Indo-European, complexity in linguistic syst...Show More

45:26 | Mar 22nd, 2016

Bob and John sit down to discuss what goes into the process of making an episode of History Respawned, the kind of interests that motivate the series, and a little bit of what we've been playing. Music is Symphony 40 in G minor by texasradiofish (c)...Show More

39:50 | Mar 8th, 2016

Bob and guest John Moran Gonzalez discuss Red Dead Redemption. Topics include The West in American imagination, violence in the west, the southwest borderlands, the Mexican Revolution, and the Refusing to Forget project. Music is Symphony 40 in G mi...Show More