Jeremiah McCall (firstname.lastname@example.org; @gamingthepast) is a leading expert on the use of historical simulation games in history education. He has taught high school history for 15 years, mostly at Cincinnati Country Day School. His first professional love is high school teaching, especially designing instructional approaches that will guide students to think as experts in disciplines. He is also a researcher/designer of learning environments that effectively incorporate simulation games to encourage critical inquiry in history. Gaming the Past: Using Video Games to Teach Secondary History (Routledge 2011) is his first book on the subject. More recently he has authored several articles, and a chapter in an edited work on the medium of historical simulation games and the impact of the medium on history education. In addition McCall is a practicing historian and has an MA and PhD in ancient history from the Ohio State University. He continues to write on topics in Roman history. He wrote The Cavalry of the Roman Republic (Routledge 2001), The Sword of Rome: A Biography of Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Pen and Sword 2011), and Swords and Cinema: Hollywood vs. the Reality of Ancient Battle (Pen and Sword 2015).
He continues to research, write, and speak about the effective use of video games in the classroom and the medium of historical simulation games as a form of historical interpretation.
Books & Chapters
Swords and Cinema: Hollywood vs. the Reality of Ancient Warfare. Pen and Sword 2015.
“Simulation Games and the Study of the Past: Classroom Guidelines” in Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology. University of Michigam Press, 2014 (free digital download)
Sword of Rome: A Biography of Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Pen and Sword 2012.
Gaming the Past: Using Video Games to Teach Secondary History. Routledge 2011.
- Teachers College Record, Seann Dikkers
- The History Teacher (starts on page# 472 in the PDF), Katy Salwell
- Education Review, Dennis J Seese
“Teaching History with Digital Historical Games: An Introduction to the Field and Best Practices.”Simulation & Gaming 47 (20016), 517-542.
“Navigating the Problem Space: The Medium of Simulation Games in the Teaching of History.” The History Teacher 45(2012).
“Historical Simulations as Problem Spaces: Criticism and Classroom Use.” Journal of the Digital Humanities 1.2(2012).
George Mason University CHNM Teachinghistory.org
- Six part series on using sim games in the classroom: http://teachinghistory.org/nhec-blog/25117
- A Roundtable Contribution on: “Games A New Way to Learn or Educational Fluff” http://teachinghistory.org/issues-and-research/roundtable/25080
- Reviews of games
- Mission U.S.: For Crown or Colony http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/tech-for-teachers/25111
- Chevron’s Energyville http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/tech-for-teachers/25111
- Do I Have a Right http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/tech-for-teachers/24975
Play the Past
- “Historical Simulations as Problem Spaces: Some Guidelines for Criticism” http://www.playthepast.org/?p=2594
- “Problem Spaces Part 2: The History Class http://www.playthepast.org/?p=2660
- “Hegemony: Philip of Macedon and the Inspiration of Simulation Games” http://www.playthepast.org/?p=278
- “The Unexamined Game is Not Worth Playing?” http://www.playthepast.org/?p=302
- “The Happiness Metric in CivCity Rome and the Critique of Simulation Games” http://www.playthepast.org/?p=94
- “Student-designed text-based simulation games for learning history: A practical approach to using Inform 7 in the history classroom.” https://gamingthepast.net/theory-practice/mccall-informpaper/
“Gaming the Past (and Present): A Practical Approach to Using Video Games in History and Social Studies Classes.” Presented at the University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning, and Society Educators Symposium, June 2012.
“Serious Games and Global Issues: A Practical Implementation of Simulation Games in the High School Social Studies Classroom.” Presented at the University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning, and Society Conference, June 2011.
“Crafting Worlds of Text: The Basics of Inform for Classroom Teachers.” Presented at the University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning, and Society Conference, June 2011.
“Recreating Past Worlds: An Approach to Student-Designed, Text-Based History Simulations.” Presented at the University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning, and Society Conference, July 2008.
“Historical Games as Simulations: The Case of Rome Total War.” Presented at the University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning, and Society Conference, July 2006.
Keynote: “All the Theory and Optimism in the World Won’t Get Me through the Next 50 Minutes of Class! Game- and Simulation-Based Learning in Practice.” Presented at the University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning, and Society Educators Symposium, July 2012.
“Gaming the Past (and Present): Approaches to Using Video Games in History and Social Studies Education.” Presented at the ISACS Annual Conference, November 2011.
Keynote: “How Educational Research Can Inform Practice: Games and Learning in History.” Presented at the Transactions between Research and Practice Summit of the University of Cincinnati College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. April, 2011
“Practicing History in the High School Classroom.” Presented for the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Meeting, March 2006.
Panelist: Case studies on the use of Civilization III in the history classroom. (YouTube video) M.I.T. Education Arcade, May 2005.
“Rubrics: The New “R” in Education.” Presented for the OhioAssociation of Independent Schools Annual Meeting, October 2004.
Classroom Experience with Simulation Games
A partial list of my classroom experiences with simulation games ranging from courses I have designed, to games and game design tools I have tested in the class
Courses focused on game analysis and/or design
Seminars and Simulations: The French Revolution; Seminars and Simulations: The Roman Republic; Serious Games and Global Issues; Serious Game Design; Designing Historical Simulations
(Some) Digital Simulation Games Used
Civilization III; Civilization IV; Stronghold 2; CivCity: Rome; Imperium Romanum; Crusader Kings; East India Company; The Political Machine; Rome: Total War; Energyville; Enercities; Third World Farmer; Ayiti
(Some) Tabletop Simulation Games Used
Settlers of Catan; Courtisans (sic) of Versailles; Diplomacy; Parthenon; Louis XIV; Revolution
Game Design Tools Used
Inform 7; GameMaker; Flash; Scratch
A Variety of Mentions of My Work
These are links to various places where my work has been commented upon, or I have been quoted. Some occasional conflation-of-quote problems aside, they give a reasonable snapshot of my (ever developing, I trust) views.
- “Play to Learn,” Scholastic Administrator Winter 2011 Some comments on using simulation games in the context of a general article.
- Cincinnati Enquirer (2/2/09) An article on some of my work at CCDS
- CS Monitor (9/18/08) (Quotes on Rome Total War and Game Design)
- Quick cameo of my CCDS ninth graders and me playing Rome:Total War in a Cincinnati local news (WCPO) Cool Schools clip (YouTube)
- 2 Cents Worth (David Warlick) (7/13/08) Ed-tech blog entry on GLS Inform Presentation
- The Virtual Pen is Mightier than the Virtual Sword (Chris Stubbs) Ed-tech blog entry on GLS Inform Presentation
- BusinessWeek (2/20/06) (Quote)
- Gamasutra Coverage of E3 Panel (5/18/05) Review of my Education Arcade presentation