I pretend that I don’t like to play games but let’s be honest who doesn’t like to mindlessly play games from time to time?
Sometimes games are a good way to “trick” people into learning without them knowing that it’s educational (like brownies made out of veggies *Insert Gag*). Some games are obviously more fun than others though.
When I played Jamestown Adventure I wasn’t very impressed. You get to make decisions in order to support your colony. The information is interesting to me, but to a 10 years old who doesn’t like history…I’m not sure. There isn’t really a fun interactive aspect to the game.
The second game I picked to play was Argument Wars. I really liked this game. There was a visible point system, there was a good guy/bad guy, and fun interactions between the two. I think this game gives information on court cases in a way that makes it interesting and fun to find links between the arguments happening within the case. I’m obviously not a preteen, but I think that this game would be more successful in getting a younger crowd to engage with digital history.
While playing the games I kept thinking back to Jeremy Antley’s article “Games and Historical Narratives.” In his article he writes, “Games can be platforms for building, and not simply consuming, knowledge.” I love this idea! I think that history is sometimes seen as boring by non-historians because people think that history can only be told one way. It can be malleable or changed depending on different sources, artifacts, theories, and by using games (and Jeremy’s quote) a historian can show an audience how their decisions in what to include or not to include can impact the way that history is told.