I know there are at least a handful of other folks interested in games and playful thinking in history and the humanities more broadly, so I thought I would stick a post up here to start a conversation and see what kind of session we could pull together. Here are three quick ideas for playing with the past sessions. Chime in with your thoughts and suggestions.
1. Share A Game Play Time:
One option would be to just make some time to play some humanities games together. If a few people suggest a few games we should have plenty to play with, and I think they would prompt some great conversations about the power of the medium. If we went this way, I would share Argument Wars. (If other folks don’t have other game ideas to share I can dig some more up)
2. Mini Humanities Game Jam:
In a game design jam the objective would be to break into groups and work up a playable prototype for a game on a provided topic in less than an hour. (For constraints on this see Raph Koster’s blog) We could try that, or we could try something more like tiltfactor’s grow a game workshop, where groups draw cards for different components of games and then put together short pitches for their games (See this overview for rules, and we could use the Flash version of the Grow-A-Game cards). I would lean toward the tiltfactor approach, with the caveat that we could swap out the challenges or goals for history or humanities learning objectives.
3. Prototyping Some Barely Games Into Digital Incarnations
Rob MacDougall recently blogged about some really cool “barely games” that playfully get at some critical elements in historical thinking. It would be relatively easy to work up plans for “digitizing” these simple game/exercises and putting them up online.
I’m personally most inclined to the third option, but I would be up for jumping into the other two as well. So, who is in?