Are games important? They’re certainly profitable and far more pervasive that you might think. Microsoft’s video game Halo, and all its successors, have sold over 60 million copies worldwide, and have grossed $3.4 billion. It’s not outrageous to say that games are just as important and influential–if not more so–than films and television, let alone books.
But are they useful? Of what practical value could they be for…well, teaching history?
Today is the first of a three part series on games and historical thinking. Al Zambone speaks with Mark Carnes, Professor of History at Columbia University, the originator of a pedagogy known as “Reacting to the Past”, and author of Minds on Fire: How Immersive Games Transform College. They discuss college as professors like to think it is, and as it really is, and how Carnes sees immersive games as a way of bridging that rather large gap.
For Further Reading:
William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos & Michael S. McPherson, Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities
Reacting to the Past–the official mega-site of the Reacting Consortium. Text, videos, and links to games in progress.
The Reacting to the Past Series at W.W. Norton