The Classics Gaming Collaborative (CGC) is sponsored by the UNCG Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming and represents a collaboration among scholars for engaging new points of dialogue across Classical Studies. Videogames are currently one of the most prevalent forms of Classical reception and, given that the nature of reception has always been a significant measure of cultural change, videogames constitute a valuable asset to supply us with new avenues of thought, innovative research, and interactive learning. At CGC, we believe that the future of Classics is global, plural, and interdisciplinary and that it speaks to the diverse voices of its scholars, students, and community members. Gamers, game-learners, and non-gamers are all welcome alike.
Aisha Dad is a Lecturer in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. She is a scholar of Classical Antiquity and South Asia. Her research focuses on myth and performance as well as Classical reception in children’s literature, animation, and videogames.
She uses videogames especially when teaching mythology to explore representations and distortions of the feminine – from goddess, to witch, to monster.
My research interests are the Reception of the ancient world in modern video games, with a particular focus on gender and the representation of women. I co-edited the volume Women in Classical Video Games (Bloomsbury 2022) and contributed a chapter on gender and agency in the mobile game Choices: A Courtesan of Rome. I have forthcoming chapters on the representation of women in the game Expeditions: Rome, and Persephone in video games, and am co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Video Games and History. I have also published on Gender and Language in Greek Tragedy.
Andrew Gardner, UCL Institute of Archaeology
Andrew Gardner has research interests in Roman archaeology and archaeological theory, particularly issues of power, identity, and social change. He is also interested in the many intersections of past and present in politics and popular culture, and this has fueled recent research in the archaeology of frontiers and borders, and in the representation of past societies in computer and videogames.
Robyn Le Blanc is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Studies and a member of the Archaeology Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As an archaeologist specializing in the provinces of the Roman empire, she has done research and engaged in fieldwork across the Roman world, from England to Israel. Her work focuses on the material aspect of stories that Roman communities told about where they came from and who they were, particularly through ancient coinages. She frequently uses gaming—both video and in-person role playing games—in her teaching to explore the past in dynamic ways.
Dunstan Lowe’s research includes Ancient worlds in digital gaming, the Ancient Mediterranean in Japanese digital games, Retrogaming, Popular reception studies, Latin literature, Ancient folklore and pseudo-science.
Toph’s research focuses on ancient theater and performance culture, with a particular interest in issues of stagecraft, metatheatre, genre, and audience experience. He has books on Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers, Euripides’ Helen, Aristophanes’ Frogs, and the stagecraft of Roman Comedy. He has also written on the literary representation of slavery and wetnursing, and co-edited volumes on Sex and Slavery, the reception of Greek drama in the Roman empire, and Ennius. His work in classical reception studies has focused on elements of popular culture, including comics, television, and roleplaying games. He is interested in the rules and mechanics of ancient board games and in the representation of the ancient world in modern tabletop board games and rpgs.
Neville Morley’s research encompases historiography and historical methodology, reception of classical antiquity, ancient economic and social history, pedagogy including games.
Christian Rollinger is Reader for Ancient History at the University of Trier, where he completed his PhD on Roman elite society and amicitia, and his Habilitation on late antique court ceremonial. He has published on the social, economic and cultural history of the late Roman republic and early imperial period, on Hellenistic and Roman monarchic power and courts, as well as pop culture receptions of the ancient world, especially in video games (most recently, (ed.) Classical Antiquity in Video Games: Playing with the Ancient World, London: Bloomsbury 2020). He is currently preparing the manuscript of his next book on late antique court ceremonial for publication in 2024.
Roger Travis’ research interests include narrative games as epic performance, reception of adventure games as humanistic inquiry, game performance as mimesis, cooperative card games, and digital RPGs.
Alexander Vandewalle is a Joint PhD Researcher at the University of Antwerp (Department of Communication Studies) and Ghent University (Department of Literary Studies) in Belgium, where he studies the characterization of Greco-Roman gods and heroes in video games. He holds an MA in Linguistics & Literature: Latin & Greek from Ghent University (2017), and an MSc in Film Studies and Visual Culture from the University of Antwerp (2018). He has previously published and/or presented on characterization in video games, game analysis methodology, players’ experiences with historical video games, various topics related to the reception of the ancient world in games (including mythology, aesthetics, intertextuality, epigraphy, pedagogical applications, and haptic feedback), and broader media franchises (Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe). His work has been published in Games and Culture, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, and Game Studies. He is also the creator of Paizomen (www.paizomen.com), a work-in-progress database of video games set in classical antiquity, and co-hosts regular archaeogaming livestreams on Twitch with the Save Ancient Studies Alliance.
Kevin Wong is an interdisciplinary scholar of classical antiquity and videogames. His research aims to unpack the new media afterlife of ancient Greece and Rome—above all, the evolution of ‘epic’ into a framing ideology of gaming entertainment. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Classical Philology at Harvard University, with a Secondary Field in Science, Technology, and Society.
His studies focus on (1) the worldbuilding potential inherent to the epic, rhetorical, and historiographical traditions of Greco-Roman literature; (2) the entrenchment of this historical imaginary within the game industry’s creative, commercial, and sociotechnical path dependencies; and (3) the ideological continuities between ancient narrative and modern entertainment, and how they shape our contemporary visions of fantasy, immersion, and fun.
Date: October 11, 2023
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Location: Foust 111. Remote participation will be available on Zoom.
Mythological narratives, names, and symbols figure intensively in video games. Elements of Asian mythology, including but not limited to Buddhist and Hindu mythology, have been included in games produced in different world regions – in and beyond Asia – since the early days of video game production. This talk discusses prominent examples and also touches upon specific challenges and methods for researching these themes.
This will be a hybrid event with a cap on the in-person gaming lab component. Please check back for registration.
Call for papers will go out in Spring 2024.
CGC’s mentorship program aims globally to connect undergraduate and graduate students with established scholars in the field. If you are interested in connecting with a mentor in your area of research or if you would like to be a mentor please contact Aisha Dad.
“Expanding Classics: Comparative World Mythology and its Reception in Gaming,” Ethan Divon (UNCG, Class of 2025).
Presented at Second Annual IASGAR Graduate Student Workshop (July 2023) and scheduled to be present at the UNCG Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo (Spring 2024).
CGC’s Apollodorus Project is partnering with other platforms globally such as Paizomen to create a comprehensive database and future search engine for Classical Antiquity and Videogaming. A limited number of internships to work on the project will be available for undergraduate and graduate students in 2024-2025. Please check back for the application process.
CGC is currently developing a series of remote and hybrid pedagogical workshops and resources.
Funding and grants for faculty are available through the Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming. Please contact Aisha Dad for inquiries and additional information.
Use of UNCG’s Esports Arena is available to outside institutions in collaboration with CGC. Please inquire for details about the fee structure and reservations.