“There are tons of free historical games, interactives and simulations on the web. Playing history aggregates info on these resources in a simple, searchable database making it easy to find, rate, and review historical games. There are currently 126 shared games.” A flurry of interest has arisen around the potential of digital games, simulations and interactives to promote humanities learning, spurred in part by a growing body of research on the value of educational games. Foundations and universities have invested millions of dollars into developing these games, yet many are built, tested, and promptly shelved, played by only a handful of students during the pilot testing phase. There is no comprehensive directory to connect teachers with these resources. If high quality educational games, grounded in current academic knowledge and at the forefront of the digital technologies, are to reach teachers and their students, there is a clear need to build a collaborative directory for reviewing and sharing information. Playing History is the beginning of just such a directory
Trevor Owens is the Community Lead for Zotero project at the Center for History and New Media. He received his undergraduate degree in history and the history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently finishing a master’s degree in history at George Mason University. My undergraduate thesis examined the history of children’s biographies of Marie Curie and Albert Einstein. Before coming to the CHNM he worked for the Games, Learning, and Society Conference.
Jim Safley is Web Programmer and Digital Archivist for the Center. He received his undergraduate degree in history at GMU and is currently working towards his master’s degree in American history. Beginning his archiving career in 1999 at the National Archives and Records Administration, Jim moved through several related positions, including records manager at Phi Beta Kappa national headquarters and archivist assistant at GMU’s Special Collections and Archives. Arriving at CHNM in 2002, Safley applied his traditional archiving experience to his work in digital archiving, web programming, and database administration. His interests include metadata standards, database design, web technologies, progressive history and history of technology. You can learn more about Jim by visiting his website: http://jimsafley.com.