In my career as an Egyptologist and ancient historian more generally, I often am confronted by challenging questions. So, it is nice when an easy question arises for which the answer is clear—such as, “Would you want to be flown out to Los Angeles so we can interview you as part of the media campaign being developed by Uproxx for the new Assassin’s Creed: Origins video game?” The answer to this question is yes—always a resounding “yes.”
Uproxx describes itself as a “news and culture platform for the digital generation.” It is a website I was familiar with before receiving the aforementioned call. It’s primary audience is male millennials, but it covers hot topics in the news, entertainment, and gaming that all audiences can appreciate. As a once-gamer myself it was exciting to be a part of Assassin’s Creed and Uproxx’s project.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a video game developed by Ubisoft and is the tenth iteration of the Assassin’s Creed series—a series I personally once played regularly. This version of the game takes place in Ptolemaic Egypt (to learn more about this keep an eye out for my HST 344 class “Ancient Civilizations” which will be taught next Fall, if you aren’t lucky enough to already be enrolled in my class on Ancient Egypt next term).
The series narrative follows the fictional fight between the Templar Order (or their forerunners the Order of the Ancients) and the Brotherhood of Assassins, but places this fictional war in real historical moments. Both groups are fighting for peace, but the Assassins believe peace can be achieved through liberty and free will, while the Order of the Ancients believe that strong rule and order is the only way to ensure peace.
I hope this reminds my History 103 class of a topic we have talked about recently and many students wrote essays on—this tension between how to rule and questions surrounding the inherent selfishness versus goodness of people is truly a centuries old debate. Confucianism, we discussed, argued for soft leadership through moral guidance, while Legalism sought order through rigid rules, regulations, and a robust reward and punishment system. This isn’t too dissimilar from the Hobbes/Locke debate and there are dozens of other examples in history of this playing out.
These four videos were developed as part of the media campaign for the new game. They are meant to be fun, engaging videos that speak to the ‘historical’ aspects of the game and are not meant to be academic products. For my part I was interviewed over the course of a day on various topics, but was not involved in the final editing or framing of the videos—that was all done by an incredible team working for Uproxx.
Dr. Julia Troche
You can find the videos on the Uproxx gaming page, or by following these links. They are accompanied by short articles written by Uproxx in which Missouri State is given a shout out (go Bears!):
On the Afterlife
On Tomb robbery
On World Leaders and Power