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CDHI Visiting Speaker Series: Angus Mol on Games as Playful Time Machines

10 March 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST

CDHI is pleased to host Dr. Angus Mol as the third speaker in our Winter 2022 Visiting Speaker Series. Dr. Mol is a University Lecturer at the institute for History and the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

Dr. Mol’s talk is titled “Playful Time Machines: Research and Outreach at the Intersections of Video Games and the Past.”


While you are reading this, Romans are fighting the Mongol Horde over who gets to control Machu Picchu, a group of Norse warriors has just raided an English monastery, and someone is rebuilding the Notre Dame, block by block. This is not make-belief but real experiences people are having right now through the ‘magic’ of time machines like Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Minecraft and other games that allow us to play with the past.

What makes these time machines tick? What and whose pasts do they allow us to experience and in what ways? How can we leverage the potential of playing with the past to positively impact the present? In this lecture I will explore, conceptually and through case studies from my work with the VALUE Foundation, these and similar scientific and societal issues that arise at the intersection of the past and present in contemporary video games.

The event is virtual via zoom. Pre-registration is required for this event.

Note: this public talk will be recorded and guests are welcome to turn off their camera for privacy reasons.



10 March 2022
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST
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University of Toronto Digital Humanities Network