Colonialism, Privilege, and Meaningful Play in Dog Eat Dog

Apr 24, 13 Colonialism, Privilege, and Meaningful Play in Dog Eat Dog

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Game designer Liam Liwanag Burke describes Dog Eat Dog as a “fun, compelling game about colonialism and assimilation in the Pacific Islands.” That’s right – Burke created a fun roleplaying game about the inequality inherent to colonialism and its consequences. One player acts as the Occupation (all of it...

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Let’s Use Toys to Teach about Playing in the Past!

Feb 27, 13 Let’s Use Toys to Teach about Playing in the Past!

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The other week when I was teaching a lovely group of 7th graders, I demonstrated how a colonial buzz saw toy works. Grasping both handles firmly, I spun the toy’s wheel around its string a few times and then firmly pulled the handles away from the wheel. I let the string unwind and then repeated this motion – spinning,...

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Using SCVNGR to Build Playful, Mobile History “Treks”

Sep 25, 12 Using SCVNGR to Build Playful, Mobile History “Treks”

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Each year, over 40 million people travel to see the sights in New York City. I see tourists everyday; they arrive by bus, train, and plane, find a place to stay, take their chances on the subway and/or hail taxi cabs, and spend time visiting museums, monuments, restaurants, and bars. Two years ago as I started researching...

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Operation LAPIS: Collaborative Roleplaying in the Immersion

Jan 25, 11 Operation LAPIS: Collaborative Roleplaying in the Immersion

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As I introduced in a previous post, at the heart of Operation LAPIS is a collaborative role-playing experience that continuously and actively reinforces the primary learning objectives for the course: learning how to read, think, and act like a Roman based on an understanding of the culture as a whole. In this post I’ll try to...

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Holiday Play

Dec 17, 10 Holiday Play

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The semester is winding down, and the Christmahanukwanzaakah is almost upon us.  Assignments have been submitted (and received), last lectures have been delivered (or attended), and (hopefully) grading is nearing completion.  Everyone around the Play the Past offices is looking forward to a much deserved break in which (among...

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