Historical Gaming

As a kid playing Assassin’s Creed I never thought about the game as a pedagogical tool. However I was a kid and was more focused on the game play. After reading the article I saw how this could be incredibly effective in teaching history. Not the Assassin’s Creed franchise itself because there are many historical inaccuracies, but a virtual reality that set students in historical settings. That is not to say the game holds no historical value because it does, but it is a video game and it should and is more focused on the gamer experience. Say instead of having a student read about 1776 Boston; teachers could actually put a student in 1776 Boston. This would help the students understand what life was like during the Revolutionary war. VR could change the way we learn, and it could also simulate and change events from revisionist point of view. Not that we could actually change history, but we could see what might have happened if an event was slightly different. Take the game JFK Reloaded as heinous as the game is it gets viewers thinking of alternative scenarios. Like what if Lee Harvey Oswald missed and JFK lived? what if he gets shot in the arm but lives? What would have been the historical significance of the event? These are questions that the game brings up. This could be an extremely effective way to get students to think historically. Another lesson I learned was that video games could be a very dark thing. Seriously why on earth would anyone want to recreate the assassination of JFK. I get that it is there and we can use it as a tool to re-imagine history but that should really be all its used for regardless of politics.

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