Angus Mol combines the study of history using digital tools with the study of how today’s digital cultures are entwined with history. In particular, he studies the past in and as play, or, in other words, how we played in the past and how we play with the past today. At the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities (LUCDH) he does research and teaches on this topic as well as on other computationally-driven themes and tools.
During his PhD, on using network analyses to study the cultures of the pre-colonial Caribbean, he took an interest in how trade in online games functions and how this can be used as an analogy for studying historical network development. This was the start of a much wider exploration of the value that games hold for understanding our past and vice versa.
Together with colleagues from archaeology, heritage studies, history, and museology, Angus created the VALUE foundation. Its aim is to design, facilitate, and conduct research, development, and outreach on the crossroads of gaming and academia, with an approach characterized by playfulness and accessibility. One of their projects is RoMeincraft, a crowd-based reconstruction of the Dutch Roman border in Minecraft.
His papers and reviews bridge the interface between past, present, and play, marrying digital and data-driven approaches to game studies and critical heritage perspectives. VALUE also organizes The Interactive Past Conference (TIPC) series, featuring talks from professionals from academia and the creative industry and published as The Interactive Past. Angus and other members of VALUE livestream via Twitch on a regular basis — leading to, among many other things, a YouTube archive of over 50 hours of commentary on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. They also write popular feature articles and game reviews. All these materials and more can be accessed via Interactive Pasts.
- Twitch: https://twitch.tv/valuefnd