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Civilization Series Bibliography

January 22, 2020 1 comment

UPDATE (1/26): This bibliography has been superseded by the main GTP bibliography I maintain, with a section on Civilization.   I’m adding new entries there.

Enough interest in research about the Civilization series pops up every so often, that I thought a quick bibliography might be helpful to refer to. I have more to add, but here’s a good start.

Burns, A. (2002). Civilization III: Digital game-based learning and macrohistory simulations. Retrieved from http://www.alexburns.net/Files/CivilizationIII.pdf

Capps, K. (2016) What Civilization VI Gets Wrong about Civilization. Citylab. https://www.citylab.com/life/2016/10/what-civilization-vi-gets-wrong-about-civilization/504653/

Chapman, A. (2013). Is SId Meier’s Civilization History? Rethinking History 17(3). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13642529.2013.774719

Ford. D. (2016)“eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate”:Affective Writing of Postcolonial History and Education in Civilization V. Game Studies, 16. http://gamestudies.org/1602/articles/ford

Koebel, G. (2017). Simulating the ages of man: Periodization in Civilization V and Europa Universalis IV. Loading … , 10(17), 60-76. (available online)

Lammes, S. (2010). Postcolonial Playgrounds: Games as Postcolonial Cultures. Eludamos 4(1): 1-6. https://eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/view/vol4no1-1/149

MacQuarrie, A. (2018). All Rise and No Fall: How Civilization Reinforces a Dangerous Myth. Rock Paper Shotgun. https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/03/15/all-rise-and-no-fall-how-civilization-reinforces-a-dangerous-myth/

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Categories: Uncategorized

Quick Educator Review – When Rivers Were Trails

January 20, 2020 1 comment

Just tweeted a thread on the videogame, When Rivers Were Trails, which was developed by a partnerships between the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab. https://indianlandtenure.itch.io/when-rivers-were-trails… by lead designer Elizabeth LaPensée, PhD. and lead artist Weshoyot Alvitre (and many others). 
Then I thought I would put this on GTP and, at the same time, experiment with a different short review style for the blog)

What it is: A FREE, beautifully illustrated, choice-based interactive text for Mac and PC with just a bit of a resource model. Players read about the main character and make choices by clicking on the relevant text with the mouse. The player character has three main attributes affected by gameplay:  a medicine and food inventory and a level of wellbeing that can increase and decrease. Navigation across the map is carried out by clicking on a simple compass rose. According to the introduction to the game on itch.io:
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“An Anishinaabeg in the 1890’s is displaced from their traditional territory in Minnesota and heads west to California due to the impact of allotment acts on Indigenous communities, facing Indian Agents, meeting people from different nations, and hunting, fishing, and canoeing along the way as they balance their wellbeing.”  In short, the game offers a different, less-often seen perspective on the suffering, resistance, and adaptation of indigenous people in response to the US policies of forcibly seizing indigenous land and forcing indigenous peoples to relocate and re-start in places far from their homes.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Rough but useable – Roman Republic Political Competition Game

November 19, 2019 1 comment

This is a quick game I threw together to teach about Roman politics and political competition in the Republic. This assumes you’re familiar with those topics. I’m just posting it in case anyone is interested. Also please note that this is not tested and so you should feel free to change any numbers to improve the outcomes.

UPDATE 11/22/19: New record sheet all made to fit on one sheet of paper

Roman Political RnR Game Onesheet

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Give each student a piece of paper with this record sheet or a replica. (Note: use Roman Political RnR Game Onesheet  for an updated printable pdf)

 

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Categories: Uncategorized

Interactive History Class 2019 – Teacher’s Log #2 (Week of 8/26)

August 30, 2019 4 comments

Disclaimer: often shockingly little/ sometimes no proofreading; just trying to get the ideas out fast and frequently for those interested

In the first log, I ended by talking about the board game Court[iers] of Versailles, an outstandingly-designed game of cut-throat politics at Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles. The initial procedure I’m working to establish as a regular class rhythm is:

  1. Front-load just a little bit, some  reading/watching/listening and note-taking homework, and discussing just a bit class about the topic,
  2. Learn to play and play the game for 2 or 3 classes
  3. Pause for a class while playing to analyze and diagram the game’s historical problem space 
  4. Play a little more, and
  5. End with a critical discussion of the game using the historical evidence and prepare for an assessment. In my case that is likely some form of formal or informal essay since effective analytical and persuasive writing is a very important teaching objective for us at CCD. It could conceivably be any number of different kinds of assessments.

It’s a bit of a headache learning the game. CoV is not difficult to understand, but the rules, unfortunately, were not effectively translated into English, have many typos and errors, and are difficult to learn without the motivation of someone who wants to learn a game for fun, or an experienced guide. If you can get your hands on a copy, though, it is really a great foil for looking at ideas of nobility and court life at Versailles. Plus, since there are a lot of social “take-that” mechanics, the game tends to capture students’ interest.

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Categories: Uncategorized

A Brief Intro Letter to US History Teachers

Taking a page from Emily Short and Chris Klimas’ blog playbooks, I was recently responding to a request from a teacher for suggestions using games for the first time in a college introductory-level US History survey courses\. I get requests like this every so often, and I’m delighted when new people find my work. I realized, though, I should probably post my suggestions on Gaming the Past for others to, hopefully, benefit from. So I polished it just a little bit, and here it is.

If you have more questions or want to dig deeper, I’m always willing to help out: jmc.hst@gmail.com

 

Hi

Thanks for your email. It’s always a pleasure to talk shop about these things and find that someone has interest in the work I do. I’m assuming from your email this is first-year US History? … I’m just going to get started there …
So first off, let me stress that, I think, the goal is to get students learning about historical systems and actors’ choices within systems (Historical problem spaces), but I also think the goal is to get them to use their historical knowledge by actively critiquing any game they play using the evidence of class notes and readings. So, having a historically accurate game (a problematic concept anyway because we are constantly revising and shifting and challenging historical interpretations in the field) is not the goal per se. Rather the sweet spot is a game that presents some reasonable propositions about the past (past systems and past problem spaces) but also is problematic in some more and less subtle ways. That way students engage and exercise their ability to critique, not just passively learn from a source of authority: textbook, article, lecture etc.

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Interview: Matthieu Brevet, Steel Division II

Recently, I had the opportunity to pose a list of questions about history and games to Matthieu Brevet, historian and game designer at Eugen Systems, makers of both historical and counterfactual strategy games such as R.U.S.E., the Wargame series, and Steel Division: Normandy 44. Eugen is finishing up production as lead designer of the WW2 real-time strategy game, Steel Division II. The game releases on Steam June 20, 2019, and is available for pre-purchase now.

Jeremiah McCall: Hi Matthieu. Thank you so much for your willingness to talk about your work as a designer of historical video games. There are a number of us who study and talk about historical games as kinds of history, and your insights as a professional designer are invaluable.  

Can you, for readers’ sakes, tell us a little about yourself, the work you’ve done in game design, and your current project?

Matthieu: I’m 40 and I’ve been (very) briefly a high school History teacher while studying & obtaining a PhD in Napoleonic History. Since then, I’ve been combining my passion for History with my other one for strategy videogames by working at Eugen Systems. First as a game designer (RUSE, Wargame: European Escalation & AirLand Battle), associate producer (Wargame: Red Dragon, Act of Aggression & Steel Division: Normandy 44) and now lead game designer (Steel Division 2).

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New History and Games Article on Journal of Geek Studies

A new survey article I wrote recently is now up on the Journal of Geek Studies

Playing with the past: history and video games (and why it might matter)

It essentially is a broad general survey of the topics and issues in historical games, history learning, and history education, I have been working on the past 14 years. I hope it will prove to serve as good introduction to a bit of the field (though my review essay in S&G 2016, is still a better bet for bibliography)

Categories: Uncategorized