Many game designers exploit elements, events, characters and narrations retrieved from human history in order to build consistent and intriguing settings for their digital games. The use of historical elements often involves the creation of a complex playground created by a huge quantity of historical tropes. Historical digital games do not limit themselves to represent the past, but they attempt to reproduce the different levels of relationships and correlations between events, causes and consequences. In this article we describe and propose the HGR framework, an analytic tool for scholars and designers alike, capable of taking into account all the layers and processes necessary to transform history in the setting of a game. In particular, the framework focuses on the three processes needed for creating an historical discourse (Lozano 1987) and on the three translations that the past undergo to become a game: perspectival, digital and ludic. The HGR framework is finally tested on a double case study: the representations of Roman Republic and Empire in Total War: Rome II (2013) and Sid Meier's Civilization V (2010).
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