• Jeffrey Brian Flood

The Video Game about the Historical Origins of Modern Languages


Good video games, like good literature, are suggestive. They challenge your way of seeing things and force you to think in different ways. They raise questions.


Total War: Attila takes place just after the fall of the Roman Empire in 460, which happened to be the catalyst to the birth of the English language.


It also depicts the events which gave rise to the languages of the modern world – Spanish, Italian and Catalan.


While the game isn’t about these languages directly, by dealing with the events surrounding the birth of modern languages, it suggests to the player the events that have influenced modern languages, and who we are.


The player begins by choosing a faction. They can play as the Western or the Eastern Roman Empire, the Saxons, the Angles, the Franks, the Alemans, the Visigoths or the Ostrogoths. Not to mention the Huns.


You have to choose between being a wandering tribe in search of the land of milk and honey, or an empire defending its lands and position.


There are three modes: diplomatic, campaign and battle. On the diplomatic map, you look for new trade routes and allies; on the campaign map you implement strategy; on the battle map, certainly the most stressful, you implement tactics.


For me the game has had the effect of making the history of the Dark Ages and the birth of modern languages more intuitive, also more interesting.

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