I'll admit from the outset that I am a huge advocate of video games - get me going on the subject and I can lose hours telling you in minute detail exactly why they're such a valid art form (whether you want me to or not...)
So imagine my delight when two of my greatest passions - games and cultural interpretation - have been married together, and what's more, it's a very happy marriage indeed.
The most recent instalment of the Assassin's Creed franchise (open world adventure games set everywhere from Revolutionary Paris to Victorian London) takes place in a beautiful (and I mean properly, stunningly beautiful) rendering of Ptolemaic Egypt.
Having long-completed the main storyline, a new mode has recently been unveiled: Discovery Tour. As soon as I heard about it, it seemed like the most natural and obvious progression in the world.
Ubisoft, the game's producers, build their AC games up from an eye-wateringly detailed body of research on each period and location. Architecture, social hierarchies, political twists, costume, landscapes, food, trade: everything in the game is built for the most-part on real world history.
The new Discovery mode allows you to explore Ubisoft's lovingly recreated Ancient Egyptian environment as a curious observer, guided along over 80 trails which are littered with more detailed insight and information than would have fit naturally in the faster-paced main game.
Having played it, it truly feels like a triumph of the modern gaming age, and an I approach I didn't see coming, but now have no idea why it hasn't been used before.
The work that went into Discovery Tour is nontrivial. It has a different UI from the base game, to say nothing of the NPC mirroring functionality and the additional playable characters. It shows the monumental care that went into making a game like Assassin’s Creed Origins, as well as the real history that the team molded into entertainment.