“The Feel of Sweaty Fingers” – The CH LUDENS Team’s First Memories of Digital Games

by the CH Ludens Team

How did we as scientists become what we are today? Where does our interest in digital games come from? Join us on a short autobiographical journey to the ludic beginnings of the CH LUDENS team.

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CH Ludens Starts Collecting Historical Gaming Magazines

by Aurelia Brandenburg

Researching the history of digital games means, among other things, researching the discourses about games in gaming magazines. For that, the Bern Team of CH Ludens is starting a collection of physical copies of gaming magazines in German (primarily) published in the 1980s and 1990s. This post serves as a living document for this collection, and we will update the list below as we start acquiring individual magazine issues.

There also is a German version of this post which can be found here. Continue reading CH Ludens Starts Collecting Historical Gaming Magazines

CH Ludens beginnt mit der Sammlung von historischen Spielemagazinen

von Aurelia Brandenburg

Die Geschichte digitaler Spiele zu erforschen bedeutet, neben anderen Dingen, auch, die Diskurse über Spiele in Gaming Magazinen zu erforschen. Um diese Forschung zu intensivieren, will das Berner Team von CH Ludens eine (physische) Sammlung von Ausgaben von deutschsprachigen Gaming Magazinen anlegen, die (primär) in den 1980ern und 1990ern veröffentlicht wurden. Dieser Blogpost dient dabei als eine Art Living Document, das wir regelmässig entsprechend unserer aktuellen Anschaffungen aktualisieren werden.

Es gibt ausserdem auch eine englische Version dieses Posts, die hier gefunden werden kann. Continue reading CH Ludens beginnt mit der Sammlung von historischen Spielemagazinen

Case Study: Necronom (Lunatic Software/Linel, 1991, Amiga)

by Aurelia Brandenburg, Adrian Demleitner, Arno Görgen, Addrich Mauch, and Eugen Pfister

Monsters, space, and guns all wrapped up in a shoot-em-up – Necronom, published by Linel in 1991, first got high praises in 1990, but then never took off the way first reports in the press anticipated. With this case study, our team tried to trace the game’s development, its strange course of reception and its contents itself.

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Of Bare Chested Men and Violence: Barbarians and War in 1980s games and press coverage

by Aurelia Brandenburg and Adrian Demleitner

This text traces a joint inquiry into a loose link between bare chested men as protagonists and the depiction of violence in 1980s video games. For this analysis, we collaborated from our respective perspectives from historical and design research. Aurelia Brandenburg has a background in history, digital humanities and gender studies and Adrian Demleitner in software studies and design research. Our focus was on the reception as well as visual semantics of video games that used barbarian- or soldier-themed characters.

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Print runs of German Gaming Magazines 1980-2000

by Aurelia Brandenburg

Gaming magazines are certainly an important part of the emergence of gaming culture(s) since the 1980s. There is, however, a difference between the importance ascribed by expert or fan circles and the actual distribution and, thus, the potential impact of a magazine. “Retro culture” tends to have a nostalgic bias. This means that it is useful to re-examine the basis on which significance is attributed to certain magazines. For this, I created a dataset consisting of sales and distribution data of nearly twenty German gaming magazines between 1980 and 2000. The dataset in full is available online through Zenodo (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10009428) and a Google Sheet, and this blog post serves as an accompanying documentation of its sources and my own reasoning behind the magazines included and the table structure, same as some rough findings and visualizations based on the data collected.

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