Pieter Van den Heede’s dissertation Engaging with the Second World War through Digital Gaming comes out of a combined passion for history and for video games. He was awarded a PhD for this research on the 11th of February: “Games can help to develop a more nuanced and critical concept of the war.”
What did you focus on exactly in your research?
“My dissertation deals with how games enable people to learn about the Second World War: how is the conflict represented in games, and how do people reflect on their engagement with these games? Over the past few decades, there has been a lot of research into how we think about the Second World War, and public perception of this period. The debate often centres on things like monuments and remembrance days. Recently, there has been a growing interest in popular culture – which my own research also ties into. Gaming is one of the most prominent forms of cultural expression around today – and even more so during the current pandemic.”
Read the full interview in Erasmus Magazine.