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How video games are reimagining Britain for the Brexit era

May 07, 2019 / theguardian

Since Theresa May invoked Article 50, there has been a mystifying surge in video games set in Britain. They come in all shapes and sizes, from Nintendo’s Pokémon Sword and Shield, which riffs on the architecture of Oxbridge and London, to PanicBarn’s anti-Brexit polemic Not Tonight. Most began development long before the EU referendum, but they are useful explorations of national identity at a time when what Britain stands for is hotly contested.Gary Younge has described the Brexit debate as a clash between stories about Britain’s past and our ideas of Britishness. How, then, might these video games help us think about what Britain is today?In the 9th-century, Britain was not one but several nations, a mass of warring Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Viking kingdoms. This is the backdrop to Creative Assembly’s Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, a turn-based strategy game whose political turmoil unfolds across a verdant table-top diorama. Territories shift from ...