Video Games and DH

I have no played video games for some time now, probably five years or more, but had the experience of playing video games as a teenager. One historical game that I have played and enjoyed was Rome: Total War on PC. I believe that the game is obsolete now due to evolution of software, but the game incorporated ancient Roman history into its content and game-play quite often. The game featured a campaign mode that allowed the user to chose a Roman faction (Sciipi, Brutii, etc.) prior to the unification of Rome in Italy during the Social Wars. Essentially, the user acted as consul or dictator of Rome and was allowed to control troop movements, diplomatic relations, financial budgets, construction, taxes, and even control legions in real-time combat. Think Stratego but way more complex.

The map, acting as a sort of chessboard, designated users to follow the supreme orders of the Senate. Users were given a specific time limit (number of turns, two turns per years) to perform an order of the Senate. If you followed the orders of the Senate, you were essentially recreating anĀ operational reality of historical events in the Roman Republic. Messages from around the republic would inform you of real historical events from history and would allow you to react to them to keep on track with the orders of the Senate. Battles would take place in an dramatic recreations of historical battle scenes with similar amounts and positioning of troops, encompassing the procedural reality of the video game in relation to a historical event or battle.

The user would emerge as a victor of the game by performing the Senates orders and eventually overtaking the Senate and destroying the other Roman factions. History students and gamers alike would emerge from gameplay as novices in Roman studies and the geography and political landscape of the Ancient World. The educational value of such strategic games is indispensable to children, who because of these gamesĀ have a very short attention span.


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