Paizomen. We play; let’s play
The Greek verb παίζομεν, paizomen, literally translates to ‘we play’. People increasingly engage themselves with video games, and games are evolving into an important part of everyday life. ‘We play’ therefore serves as a reflection on what has become a significant trend of our day-to-day entertainment.
However, were we to pronounce paizomen as paizōmen (Greek παίζωμεν), the translation becomes ‘let’s play’, in the adhortative subjunctive form. As games have also expanded their influence within the academic world, a rising number of scholars has already devoted their attention toward the videogame medium. ‘Let’s play’ proposes to continue the scholarly examination of video games.
This website, Paizomen, is set up with both translations in mind. It is as much an observation as it is an invitation.
A Database of Classical Antiquity Games
Over the past decade, video games have also become the subject of scrutiny within Classics. The field of classical reception studies (i.e. the discipline that studies how antiquity ‘lives on’ throughout subsequent time periods) has incorporated the videogame medium as an accepted topic of inquiry.
However, there has (to my knowledge) been no attempt to create a coherent database that catalogues all games that feature classical antiquity. Paizomen aims to provide an answer to this demand. In doing so, it tries to facilitate further research in this area.
Please visit the Database page for more information on how the database was constructed, and for elaboration on the terminology that it uses.
About the author
Alexander Vandewalle (°1996, Belgium) is a PhD student at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University. He researches the reception of mythological characters in classical antiquity games. He has obtained a Master of Arts in Linguistics and Literature (Latin & Greek) at Ghent University in 2017, as well as a Master of Science in Film Studies and Visual Culture at the University of Antwerp in 2018.
All images on Paizomen are either my own or screenshots that I took within a certain game.