In this Leiden University Honours course, we will explore the question: “How did we play in the past and how do we play with the past today?” For this course we will not only think and read about games from the past and today, but we will also play them and make our own past-inspired games. 

The course consists of weekly classes with: pre-recorded lectures by Aris Politopoulos (Archaeology), Angus Mol (Digital Humanities), and Sybille Lammes (Play Studies); weekly, online, class discussions on the theme of the week; weekly Let’s Plays on Twitch where we will be playing and discussing board and video games dealing with the past; an in-person workshop and visit to the Past-at-Play Lab (if possible, if you cannot be present for in-person events, we will provide you with an alternative activity). 

During the course you will be asked to keep a “Play Diary” and the final assignment will be a project in which you, together with a group of your fellow students, will design your own game about the past.  This course offers a new and fun way to learn about games and the past. At the same time, you will also contribute to ongoing research and outreach activities of the Past-at-Play project.

This course is designed for the Leiden University Honours College Programme, but we have also decided to share its contents publicly, where possible. Unfortunately, some things may not be availabe to you (for free), such as certain reading items and games we play during the course. Still, we hope it can be of use to you!

NB this is not a MOOC and we do not offer credit or a certificate of completion for this course, outside of the Leiden University Honours College Programme. However, if you worked along and did some or all of the assignments, the final project, or simply have additional questions, we’d love to see them. Reach out to us through our university e-mails.