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The greatest chronicle of English culture is a Duke Nukem 3D level

Dan Douglas captures England's oddities in Duke Smoochem 3D

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The diary of Samuel Pepys. The movie Mary Poppins. For years, people have sought to understand English culture and history by consulting such artifacts. When future generations wish to understand what England was like in the early 21st century, they'll simply need to play a Duke Nukem 3D level. Since June 2021, Dan Douglas has been making a DN3D level which captures facets of the real England: town centres, Wetherspoons, Greggs, a sausage roll nativity, Michael Gove dancing, lads, absolute madmen, life under Covid, performative patriotism, the Brexit bus, and so much more. It's astonishing.

Douglas started out simple, recreating the office where health secretary Matt Hancock broke Covid restrictions while cheating on his wife. From there, he has recreated more and more aspects and events of English culture, scattering across them one big level now known as Duke Smoochem 3D. He has a great eye for the mundanities as well as the bits which feel surreal even if you witnessed at the time. He's made a Greggs complete with a version of the controversial sauage roll nativity, for one.

He's recreated Conversative minister Michael Gove's alleged dance-off and rap battle with BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg.

He's... I'm just going to drop bits and pieces in here. I cannot imagine what any of this means to people who don't know England.

And today he posted work on Marble Arch and its crap Mound, this impressive effort on a stupid thing finally pushing me to post about this.

He's made so much more than I've included here. I strongly recommend just scrolling through the Twitter thread where he posts progress. An absolute joy and weird reminder of just how daft England is.

You have to understand: this is one of the most English Englands I've seen in video games. It has a clear curatorial slant and silly satirical presentation, no doubt, but this sort of stuff is vital to understanding what England actually is. Dan Douglas is catching the weirdness while it whizzes past at breakneck pace, preserving modern England for posterity.

At some point, he will release this as a Duke Nukem 3D level we can actually play. Until then, yes, do follow Dan and that thread. What a joy to have it pop up in my feed with a recreation of some new bloody stupid English thing I'd already forgotten about despite it happening six seconds ago.

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice is likely in the sea.

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