Banished: It Takes a Village to Raise a Surplus

Sep 21, 16

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This article is part four of a four-part series on the future of quantification in history. For the thematic introduction to the series, please click here. Or click on the following links for part one, part two, or part three.   Kaplunk: “Your reserve in tools is low.” Kaplunk: “Your reserve in firewood is low.”...

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Big Data: Endgame of Virtual History

Jun 01, 16

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This article is part one of a four-part series on the future of quantification in history. For the thematic introduction to the series, please click here.   At face value, it might appear to the casual reader of Play the Past, that the main focus of this blog is the treatment of historical experience in the medium of...

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Troubleshooting a History Through Gaming Course

Jul 18, 12 Troubleshooting a History Through Gaming Course

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It’s summertime, and while that doesn’t automatically mean I have nothing to do but lounge around all the time in workout gear watching Food Network cooking shows and tweeting about it, it usually means I have a bit more time and headspace to mull over new ideas than I do during the hectic academic year. This summer is no...

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Problem Spaces, Part 2: The History Class

Mar 27, 12

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Last week I proposed that the design of historical simulation games around problem spaces provides guidelines for how one can meaningfully critique them as historical interpretations. This week moves to the flip side of the coin: how the concepts and functioning of problem spaces illustrated so well in historical simulation games...

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Pastwatch Reflections: Cause, Counterfactual, and Fracturing the Past

Feb 08, 12

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This is the final post in series exploring how the story of Orson Scot Card’s book Pastwatch gets readers to play with and explore their own models of the past. The first post discussed the way the book’s claim that we are living in an altered history helps us approach the past as a strange and peculiar set of events....

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