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History and humanists in the gaming industry

What role do historians have in the gaming industry? How are historical authenticity and accuracy balanced when mixing entertainment and market forces?

Join the J. Willard Marriott Library in exploring these questions during the presentation and Q&A “Gaming the Middle East: History and humanists in the gaming industry” on April 16 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Gould Auditorium. Event speakers include Raphaël Weyland, an in-house historian at Ubisoft Montréal for “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” and Tyler Kynn, a professor at Central Connecticut State University and creator of “The Hajj Trail.” Light refreshments will be provided following the presentations.

“The Marriott Library’s ProtoSpace is an area that fosters cross-disciplinary connections through experiential learning,” said Greg Hatch, head of Creativity and Innovation Services and ProtoSpace manager at the Marriott Library. “So, on a campus with a strong educational focus on both gaming and the humanities, it makes sense for us to host conversations like this one.”

Prior to the conversation, there will be open play of “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” and “The Hajj Trail” in ProtoSpace on the second floor to the library from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. there will be special game demonstrations from both creators in room 2751 on the Data Visualization Wall.


Raphaël Weyland is a historian working at Ubisoft Montréal and has assisted with the creation of “Assassins Creed Mirage” and “Assassins Creed For Honor.” He holds a Ph.D. in History from the Université Montréal and the CAU-zu-Kiel, with a specialty in the ancient Mediterranean and Iranian worlds. He has worked as a university lecturer, a tour guide and a radio speaker. His book, “Le Moyen-Orient: des Croisades aux Ottomans” was published in  2021.



Tyler Kynn is an Assistant Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University. Kynn’s research explores the Hajj in the early modern world, examining both narrative and archival material related to questions of Ottoman sovereignty and power in the Hijaz. Kynn is one of the co-creators of “The Hajj Trail,” a classroom tool and digital simulation of a seventeenth-century Hajj journey coded via the Twine platform. A sequel to the game entitled “Seyahat: A Journey to Mecca” is currently being worked on using the Unity Engine to present the stories of “The Hajj Trail” in the visual style of Ottoman painting.

Kynn is also working on a book, “A Season for Empire: The Hajj in the Early Modern World.”


Michael Christopher Low, University of Utah

Director, Middle East Center

Assistant Professor, Department of History

Environmental Humanities Research Professor


Alexis Christensen, University of Utah

Associate Professor (Lecturer),World Languages and Cultures

Alf Seegert, University of Utah

Professor, Department of English

Affiliate Professor in the Division of Games

Nathan Wainstein, University of Utah

Assistant Professor, Department of English

The event is made possible through a partnership with the Middle East Center, under the College of Humanities, the Department of English and the Marriott Library’s ProtoSpace.