Of the many digital First World War centennial projects released in recent months, video games aren’t a medium that immediately comes to mind those of us bent on cutting edge forms of historical representation and interactivity – but as we move forward, definitely should be. For decades, video games have worked to simulate environments and experiences for users – creating powerful platforms to interact with historical worlds on deep and individualized scales – games focusing on historical environments being nothing new for popular titles like the Civilization or Call of Duty franchises. But Verdun, a game recently developed by M2H and Blackmill, is redefining how we represent the First World War in modern media by guiding the user trench-riddled combat environments of the western front. Forming teams of four between French and German forces, users band together to capture target points and defeat their opposing team – Verdun gives the user a limited yet informative scope into individual and group dynamics with keen attention to environmental factors. Playable through multiple operating systems [Windows, OS X, Linux], Verdun’s aim is stated as follows: “Inspired by the ferocious battle of Verdun that took place in 1916, M2H and Blackmill are proud to present Verdun, a unique online first person shooter set during the First World War. ” continuing “Verdun contains levels that are based on historical locations around the Verdun area such as the Argonne forest, the western front and beyond.”. Undergoing continual development in coming months, Verdun should be considered among the innovative digital World War I centennial projects that will come to shape how we interact with our histories in 2014. Indicating a growing presence of highly interactive user environments, expanding to produce unique tools for users and project developers alike.
Sources: Verdun Game, http://www.verdungame.com/, accessed January 11th, 2013.
Image Source: Verdun Game, Screenshots, http://www.verdungame.com/, accessed January 11th, 2013.