Andreas Wieser

Andreas Wieser is a Master’s student at the University of Innsbruck and a student assistant at the Institute for Subject Didactics. His research focuses on subject didactics in the field of history and civic education and their intersections with game studies. He is particularly interested in the reception of video games by consumers and the associated influence on their historical culture and historical identity.

The Meaning of Money made visible in ANNO 1800. From a Video Game to a Board Game

FROG 2023 – Talk

Money and its equivalents take up a huge part of modern Real-Time-Strategy (RTS) games by influencing the level of difficulty and speed of advancement throughout the game. Upkeep and construction costs of buildings and units constitute the biggest part of expenses and form important and entertaining hurdles for the consumers of such video games. This presentation focuses on the question which money-centred challenges are faced through the video game ANNO 1800 and how those issues are transferred into the board game of ANNO 1800. Methodically it is based on an analysis of challenges given to the players, these can be high building costs or difficult production chains, which represent the economic growth needed to pursue the win.
The board game abstains itself completely from the use of money and focuses itself solely on another main resource of the game: workforce. At first glance the board game seems to be a game of communist tendencies using the workforce to gain products by processing resources. At second glance it still consists of and builds on capitalist ideas such as the still existing five working classes (farmers, workers, artisans, engineers, investors) and the ever-ongoing idea of economic growth and competition between the players.
This presentation aims to highlight the different capitalistic tendencies of a board game in comparison to its videogame. It concludes that even if the monetary capital is taken away from a game, it is still a highly capitalistic game using capitalistic systems of economic growth and an obvious separation between working classes giving each of them different resources and products to handle and contributing that way to the separation between classes. Complex capitalistic ideas, which normally evolve around money, are therefore still embedded, seemingly without being focused on money as its centrepiece.


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