Wednesday, January 28, 2015

History Challenge: Playing Games with a History Theme

By Margaret Duncan, Ed.D.

At the beginning of the year, we began the History Challenge 2015.  This is an attempt to put more history into everyone’s life.  The concept is simple: pick topics of interest to you and start completing the challenge. One of the challenges I eagerly accepted was to play games with a historical theme. Considering I own a multitude of history themed games and am part of a gaming group, this was quite easy to do.  Also, the Histocrats are eager for followers to enjoy history themed games through the “History Game of the Week” selections each week. 

For this challenge to be completed, all you need is to pick out a game with a history theme.  Games could range from boardgames to apps to video games or a combo of all.  There are so many games available with a history twist, it really is not hard to find one that may peak your interest.  When it comes to history themed games, they can range from generic board games, Euro-style board games, dice games, card games and collectible card games. They also range from quick and easy to all night complex games.  Don’t want to play a board game, there are plenty of video and app games that you can choose from as well. 

Using games to get more history into your life does not just have to be about gaining historical knowledge, but for the simple benefit of playing a game.  Historically themed games can be a gateway to allow you to get more history into your life without having to read a lengthy historical textbook.  Don’t want to read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, pick up the game and give it a play.  Don’t want to watch a lengthy documentary on the French Revolution, pick up Guillotine and give it a play.  Simply put, not every game needs to be overtly academic or historic to meet the goal.  Games on the simplest level should be about having fun.  The historic significance can be implied. 

As we continue through the year, find a goal on the challenge and meet it head on.  Be sure to keep track of your progress during the year and share your accomplishments with the Histocrats using the hashtag #enjoyhistory15 on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

We look forward to seeing what challenges you accept and complete. Games are just one avenue to bring history alive.  We know enjoying more history in 2015 will help make it a great year.  So, get out there and play some games and have a historically fun time doing it!


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