Counterfactual History and The Conquest of Paradise

May 27, 14 Counterfactual History and The Conquest of Paradise

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While I’m a pretty big fan of strategy games in general, historical strategy games are particularly interesting, especially from a pedagogical standpoint.  As I and many of the other Play the Past authors have previously discussed, these games allow us to look at the past through a different lens than we typically get through...

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What’s in a Name?

Aug 14, 13 What’s in a Name?

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This is a mostly serious and occasionally tongue-in-cheek open response to Kevin Bacon’s (@fauxtoegrafik) thoughtful and honest blog post “Nameless Gameless.” I’m hoping it will spark some open dialogue between a variety of folks interested in cultural heritage and meaningful play (and of course, those...

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Historical Wargaming and Asymmetrical Play

Jul 17, 13 Historical Wargaming and Asymmetrical Play

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The videogame industry, like other computer and tech industries, tends to have a very buzzword-heavy culture.  Certain phrases just seem to resonate with game makers, who latch on to them, often overusing or even misusing them.  As some people have already pointed out, the new videogame buzzword seems to be “Asymmetrical...

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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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No More Chocolate-covered Broccoli: Collaboration between Game Designers and Historians is Key

Jan 23, 13 No More Chocolate-covered Broccoli: Collaboration between Game Designers and Historians is Key

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The following post is a short paper I wrote for a panel discussion on creating game experiences at Civil War historic sites. Our moderator suggested that we share our papers for further discussion and comment before the panel. Please join in the discussion, all comments and concerns are greatly appreciated! My postings on this site...

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