Public history

GAME TIME: Exploring History Through Play

4 November 2023

Forum Z Game on: Exploring History Through Play

© Kirill Mitsurov – digital elaboration of a page of the Codex Aureus of Echternach

During the Forum Z we will explore the intersection between history and play.

How do video games represent the past and bring history to life? How accurately do they portray historical events? How do game designers balance between facts and creative storytelling? Can games be used in the classroom as tools for history education? Can they be used to improve our understanding of historical processes and promote social, political, and cultural activism?

For this Forum Z, we are teaming up with the Rotondes cultural centre, the gaming convention Game On, and the BTS school of Game Programming and Game Design to explore the intersection between history and play.

The event will take place at the Rotondes as part of the Game On convention and will consist of a rich programme of activities spread between the Grande Salle and the Container City:

The BLACK BOX THEATRE will host a round of talks. Industry professionals, designers, scholars, and educators will share their insights exploring the interplay between history and video games. At the end of each talk, the audience will be able to ask questions and discuss with our speakers.

In the STUDIOS, we will present a historical board game workshop in collaboration with the BTS school of Game Programming and Game Design.
The Codex Aureus of Echternach, one of the most beautiful manuscripts in the world, is an illuminated eleventh-century gospel written entirely in gold. Its fascinating history through the centuries will be the backbone of the workshop. Working in teams, the participants will learn the ropes of game design and create their own unique board game. The groups will then pitch their games to the audience, and the best one will win a prize.

Additionally, courtesy of Ubisoft, we will offer our audience the possibility to go back in time and experience a VR tour of the cathedral of Notre-Dame before the tragic accident of April 2019.

The GRAND SALLE will display a selection of historical video games that the visitors will be able to try. Among the titles: The Oregon Trail, Civilisation, Pentiment, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Valiant Hearts, This War of Mine, The Guild, Train to Sachsenhausen, Through the Darkest of Times, Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece.

Those who missed them on Saturday will have another opportunity to try our game selection on Sunday, 5 November.


Saturday, 4 November 2023

14.00 - 19.00

Rotondes (3, Place des Rotondes — L‑2448 Luxembourg-Bonnevoie)



CONTAINER CITY - BLACK BOX Theatre, 14.00 - 18.00



Deborah Papiernik, Ubisoft
History and Video Games: How to Engage Different Audiences in the Discovery of our Heritage

Nick Webber, Birmingham City University | Historical Games Network
What is Video Game History? History in, of and around Video Games

Jeremiah McCall, Cincinnati Country Day School | Gaming the Past
Gaming the Past: The Power and Promise of Games in History Classes

Marie-Paule Jungblut & Johannes Pause, University of Luxembourg; Emmanuel Guardiola, Cologne Game Lab
The Migrants' Chronicles 1892 Game: Using History to Raise Awareness about Modern Humanitarian Crises
18.00 Historical Board Game Pitch Presentations and Awards



Historical Board Game Pitch Presentations and Awards
19.00 End of the event



STUDIO 2, 14.00 - 19.00

Ubisoft’s Notre-Dame de Paris: Journey to the Past in VR


STUDIO 3&4, 15.30 - 18.00

The Codex Aureus of Echternach: From the Scriptorium to the Gaming Table

Historical Board Game Workshop in collaboration with the BTS school of Game Programming and Game Design.

(maximum 30 participants, 15 participants in French and 15 participants in English. The workshop is free of cost, and places will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Suitable for ages 14 and up.

Please register ahead for the board game workshop.



Saturday, 4 November 14.00 – 19.00 
Sunday, 5 November 12.00-18.00

Historical video game expo and demo




Join the discussion : #gametime