Ancient History in Modern Media

In the United States the practice of making historical films and videogames in widely used in pop culture. These films and games usually have some historical truth to them but more often than not, they are more unrealistic to the true events that took place with a few exceptions. These exceptions would most likely be the movies that are made to represent the military or operations that have occurred in a more recent time frame. The fact is however, that the further that society moves along from significant historical events, the easier it is to stray away from the main point or purpose of the historical videogame or film. This makes it easier to lose truth while trying to not only entertain the audience but also teach them. The question is then: are the makings of these films and creative videogames a solid resource to teach the present of the significant events of the past? Personally, I would say that it is.

            These days in modern American pop culture, it is hard to find something that interests you because there are so many options of where to spend your time. This inevitably causes the creators of these films and games to have to become extremely creative in order to interest a younger generation, teach them, and get them to buy their product. For example, as a kid, I played the videogame “Assassin’s Creed”. Not only did I play it, I played all of the sequels to the original. This videogame ultimately caused me to want to learn more about history, specifically about the Knights of the Templar. In the story mode of the game, it revolved around Christianity and the corruptness of the church at that time. After some research, the corruptions of the church and the power struggle during this time period turned out to be historically accurate. The magic and so called apple of Eden part, was not. The cities portrayed in the video game gave a more or less accurate picture of the architecture and it helped people understand the living conditions during this time period. The game highlights some core issues with the separation of power between the church and state that continually is a problem in the modern day United States. History repeats itself, right?

            In the writings of Confucius, it is continually made a point that one should always look to the past in order to gain insight on how to live. The master said: “He who by revisiting the old knows the new, is fit to be a teacher” (The Analects 2.11). The reason the creators of these games, do not make them completely historically accurate is because of the sole fact that they might be boring and not sell. The have to include these crazy conquests or magical capabilities in order to capture the eye of their target audience. However, it is still a good resource available to get a sneak peek into history and might even spark some interest in it. These games and movies are a successful way to reach a younger generation and inform them of significant events of the history of the world.

Tyger Goslin

525 Words

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