Other Choice-Based Interactive Histories Online

Whether Jillian Hinegardner knows it (and I hope she does), she is a trailblazer in designing choice-based history. She crafted her MA Thesis in History at Ohio State (2006) as a choice-based text. Called Purchasing the American Dream: Buying a Home in 1960 Chicago, it is, as far as I know, the very first scholarly work in interactive text history. The text explores the different realities for Black and White Americans searching to purchase a home in Chicago, 1960.

Rachel Ponce (@rachelponce) set the bar incredibly high for twine historians with  Surviving History: The Fever. It’s tens of thousands of words long, extremely well crafted, and follows an 18th century Philadelphian Doctor’s adventures when Yellow Fever hit the city. Read Rachel’s reflection on the work, Fever to Tell: Interactive Storytelling Online and the History of Philadelphia’s Yellow Fever Outbreak, 1793

Neville Morley (@NevilleMorley) has a great playable text and continues to work on Might and Right: The Athenian Version, on Athens’ diplomacy with and ultimate slaughter of the inhabitants of Melos in 416/415, made famous by Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue. The twine gets at the real-politik of Athenian policy in Thucydides’ formulation and is more than a bit uncomfortable for those who don’t like the idea of commanding the destruction of a people (all of us, I hope and trust). See Neville’s reflection on the work, Losing My Favourite Game on his blog: thesphinxblog.com

Alicia Matz (@duxfeminafacti9) crafted  A Day in Ancient Rome  . It’s a great look, as the title suggests, at daily life in Rome including the many ways one could get ill and die. Matz drew from the descriptions in Aldrete, Daily Life in the Roman City and Harvey, Daily Life in Ancient Rome, with some helpful input from a virologist friend.

My own Path of Honors an incomplete work on a Roman aristocrat climbing the political ladder in the Republic. Background and reflection on the work can be found here on gamingthepast

Bob Whitaker’s at Louisiana Tech University tasked students in his Playing the Past course to research and develop Twines on topics of their choosing. Read Bob’s reflection on the class, Playing the Past Debrief, on History Respawned. The Twines are

Alex Clifford wrote the Choice Of Games (a brand of commercial choice-based texts) Divided We Fall about four individuals in the Spanish Civil War. The first two chapters are free.

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