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Shawn Graham, PA406 @electricarchaeo

A Meanwhile, somewhere far away...

“So I hear there’s this class next term...”

“Oh? What’s it about then?”

“Something about how games & simulations are the next big thing in forming our ideas of historical consciousness. Or maybe explosions.”

“oh, like that time you dreamed you were Asdfasdf George Washington, and you took over everything, and made yourself king?”

“that wasn’t a dream. We played that yesterday. But yeah.”

I was curious. What could a game tell me about history? Games make pretty crappy history, right? I mean, this wasn’t going to get all meta, was it?

Like, that time I played Portal so much I couldn’t walk straight anymore.

asdfads I went to talk to the Prof. He does digital stuff. He’s an archaeologist too, so that probably means something important.

This is what he said.

It’s not about the skin of the game. It’s about the mechanics, about what we internalize when we play. It’s about performing the intended & unintended messages the game designer puts in there.

...I hate when he dresses up.

He talked.

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You’re going to design a game or a simulation – the perfect game/sim that tells a kind of history. You’re going to analyze games and simulations. What kinds of history are they best at communicating? You’ll look at the market, the demographics, to figure out what ‘history’ looks like when we make these power interactive experiences. You’ll blog. You’ll discuss. You’ll write. You don’t need to be a programmer, but I will expect you to learn how to open the hood and see what’s happening.

...a lot.

You’ll read a lot of

PlaythePast.org. It’ll be awesome.

I

There’ll be history of games & simulation, too, from humanity’s deep past onwards.

So I signed up. It’s on Mondays & Wednesdays in the Winter term. HIST3812. There’s even a hashtag, #hist3812. This will be like no history class I’ve ever taken before...


Gaming and Simulation for Historians