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View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, pass type, topic, and format. With this Session Viewer, you can view GDC 2023 session details and speakers, and share your favorites via social media. You will be able to build your schedule and access it during the show via export or Mobile App, once live. Sessions do fill up and seating is first come, first serve, so arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Tabletop Summit: Reimagining Historical Settings in Game Design

Cole Wehrle  (Creative Director, Leder Games, Wehrlegig Games)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 20

Time: 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Design

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Over the past decade, Cole Wehrle has designed a number of critically acclaimed political and historical games that have been translated into over a dozen languages. In this talk, Cole will discuss some of the reasons why board games have traditionally provided such poor treatments of the past and how we might find a way to more meaningfully interact with the settings of our games.

He will highlight a player-centered approach to immersion that uses both mechanical and aesthetic design principles, and will offer some tips for engaging thoughtfully with the historical record. He will also talk about how to make games on sensitive subjects, and why the difficult work they demand can help create unforgettable experiences that will help players better understand their own assumptions about the past.


Attendees will gain a set of tools that will help them better engage with the subject of designing historical games, as well as understand the importance of historical games—both as something to make and something to play.

Intended Audience

This is for anyone working on games (tabletop or digital) that have historical settings, or players looking to learn more about how those games are made.