WIU honors class introduces video game technology into history classroom


WIU honors class introduces video game technology into history classroom

January 27, 2023

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Macomb, Illinois – A new history course offered through Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University will allow students to join the university’s new digital recreation center and integrate building and playing history-based video games into classroom teaching. I’m here.

WIU History Department Chair Tim Roberts organizes and teaches the class, “The Games of the Past: Using Video Games to Teach and Make History.” He hopes the class will be a reflection of how digital technology is shaping his humanities at WIU. There are 13 of his honor students in this class. However, none of them are history majors.

“I knew I had to step up my game because I doubt these students liked history,” Roberts said. must prove.”

Class assignments can be done on a student’s personal device or at the university’s Digital Recreation Center, opening in Fall 2021. From video games to virtual reality systems.

Throughout the class, students will be required to analyze various historical video games and explore traditional historical sources and events. Ask students to use historically accurate arguments to conduct and participate.

“We want to explode the idea that history is inevitable,” Roberts said. It offers a novel way to explore concepts.”

Students were taken to the Digital Recreation Center for an orientation session on available technology.

Roberts became interested in incorporating video games into his classroom while studying for a diploma in Digital Humanities and Public History through programs offered by George Mason University and the Smithsonian Institution. became. It was through his work that he was introduced to his Twine digital storytelling software.

Roberts assigns a twine game he created. In this game, as President Abraham Lincoln, students are presented with a variety of Civil War-era evidence about freeing people held captive as slaves. Students may follow in Lincoln’s footsteps or adopt a different strategy. Program development was supported by the WIU Foundation and the Sponsored Projects Office Summer Scholarship Program.

Roberts also works with an Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History teacher to demonstrate how the twine program can be used in the classroom.

For more information about the WIU History Department, visit For more information on Centennial Honors College, please visit

Contributor: Jodi Pospeschil (
University Communication and Marketing Office


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