Class Notes, December 3

Project and Posts Review:
  • Revised presentation schedule
    • Guide to writing the paper will be coming
  • Information on Citation
  • Textual analysis
  • Where will your sites be located?
  • Blogs@Baruch questions?
  • Individual projects review
Reading Review:
  • What is meant by the notion of a “problem space”?
  • What characterizes the analytical limits of the historical games McCall examines? How does this impact the potential value of these games as products of scholarship, or teaching and learning tools?
    • “One absolutely should question whether the roles and goals selected for the players are historically legitimate.”
    • “One can rightfully question why each and every element of the game is portrayed as it is. But these questions should not be divorced from the consideration of the problem space as a whole, especially the historical roles and goals conceptualized by the designers.”
  • How do the qualities of historical game design intersect with and depart from the methods of doing scholarly or public history?
    • “A variety of players with roles: we would term them actors or agents, but the idea of the past being full of people who had choices, made decisions, played roles, and mattered is certainly well within the norm for historical sensibilities.”
    • “Players with goals: Games clarify goals; life obscures them …”
    • “Players and actions in physical space: … teachers and students too easily and often forget that humans in the past (and present) operated in physical, spatial contexts.” (environmental context creates “constraints and affordances”).
    • “Players with choices and strategies: Granted, philosophers can argue about whether anyone really has any choices whatsoever. Pragmatically speaking, however, historians speak in terms of choice and decisions. Furthermore, we as humans act and comprehend the world in terms of the choices we and others can make (even when we feel victimized and assign all the choice-making to those who seemingly harm us).”
  • If we were to design a game about presidential elections, what might it look like?