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Call for Participants: Roundtable Podcast on History in Video Games



One of my graduate seminars that I am taking is called "Digital History", which looks at how computers and digital media are used by historians, or how they present historical concepts. The professor of the course has provided the opportunity for students to do alternative projects as a replacement for the traditional research paper. As a component of this, I was thinking I'd make use of the community here at Destructoid, and do some sort of roundtable discussion one-time podcast on history in video games. It would happen sometime within the next two months, depending on how quickly people come forward, and what our respective schedules are.

Who I'm looking for:

I'm looking for a small group of participants (I'd say a maximum of 5) who are interested in discussing their experiences and opinions on history in video games for a few hours. The general qualifications I'm looking for are these (though I'm willing to be flexible):

- Some sort of university education (or real-world experience equivalent). A B.A. (completed, or in progress) in some field of humanities (or computer science) would be preferable. A history major would be the best, of course.
- Experience playing historical video games. This can be anything: playing a lot of Oregon Trail in elementary school, being an expert at Civilization, a long-time player of military FPS's, etc.
- At the least, some basic history knowledge. I mean, if we're talking about Assassin's Creed, I would like it if everyone at least knows the who, where, when, why, etc. of the Crusades.

In short, I'd like some mature, intelligent, academically-minded gamers who have a passable amount of historical knowledge. Ideally, it would be nice if someone has some experience recording podcasts over Skype. Although I'll do the editing/post-production myself, if someone could do the actual recording, it would be helpful.

Topics of Discussion

What will actually be discussed will vary depending on who actually participates. Some general questions/themes to look at might be:

- Which games have used history "right"? Which haven't? Does this even matter? Is this even the right approach in the first place?
- Is there a difference between an educational history game (like Oregon Trail) and a "regular" one? Can/should games be incorporated into the education curriculum?
- Differences between games with linear, character-driven narratives (Assassin's Creed) and those that incorporate historical concepts at a broader level (strategy games like Civilization).
- The dominance of military history in games, particularly WWII. Is this history best suited to being used in games and, if so, why?
- Using games in museums, online exhibits, etc. Useful interpretive tool, or just a gimmick?


I hope some of you in the Destructoid community are interested in participating in this roundtable discussion podcast. It's somewhat of an experiment, blending the casual, yet strong, community of Destructoid with a more formal academic subject, using the tools of digital media. If it succeeds, I'd hope that myself or others could do similar projects looking at other narrowed themes/genres in gaming.

I've posted this as a forum thread as well, so it will (hopefully) continue to be active longer than this blog post.

Anyone interested can contact me at: [email protected], or leave their contact information in the comments.

Thank you.
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About Guncannonone of us since 2:54 AM on 01.31.2009

Previous posts:

May Community Monthly Musing Recap
My expertise: Memorization, obsession and Star Fox 64 (Monthly Musing)
I suck at games: Confessions of an Item Hoarder (Monthly Musing)

Regular Articles:
Why Kinect Will Fail: The Name.
My own Listblog, but with some interesting categories.
(Relatively) Short Blog: Environment in Red Dead Redemption
Dr. Samit, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love SPORTS! (Monthly Musing)
The Airport: Last Refuge of the Arcade?
Ranking the Zelda series from my own memories
An Essay/Review of a Canadian History video game
8-bit remixes of Gundam music!
Rental Recollections: 7-7-7
Maniac Mansion: The TV Show

One Song...Many Remixes:
Volume 1: Mega Man X, Intro Stage

Video Game Mind Teasers (on hiatus until site upgrade)
Volume 15: Missing Edition
Volume 14: Touch Fuzzy Edition
Volume 13: SONIC EDITION!!!
Volume 12: Continuing Edition
Volume 11: Back to the Beginning Edition
Volume 10: Prizes Edition!
9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

My videos:
Bit Transmission!
Guile's Theme + They Live!

Community Activities:
Destructoid: A YouTube Search Story

History in Video Games: Roundtable Podcast

Personal Stuff:
Getting some classic SNES games!
Getting Mega Man Complete Works!

Deliberate Failtoid:
Why Battlefield 1943 is the worst game EVER!

Age: 23
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Profile: I'm a longtime gamer, and started playing video games during the transition from the NES to the SNES. Although I like retro games, I play mostly newer games on the 360. Still, my favourite gaming memories are from all-nighters filled with Goldeneye, Perfect Dark and Smash Bros. in the late 90s.

I'm looking for a career in public service, politics or other fields where research and writing are critical. Though, the closer it's related to games, the better.

I make videos, animated gifs, podcasts and all kinds of random stuff in my spare time. I'm also trying to develop my own gaming website (details coming eventually).

Systems: NES, Super NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo 64, Wii, Sega Genesis, Playstation 2, Xbox 360, PC, Colecovision (my dad's). Also, many other systems (including arcade) that I not emulate.

Some Favourite Games:
Retro (NES-SNES eta): Megaman 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, Sonic 3, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Robotrek, Illusion of Gaia, Megaman X, Lufia 1 and 2, Strider, Metal Slug, Twilight Zone pinball.

Retro Limbo (N64 era): Ogre Battle 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Mystical Ninja starring Goemon, Goemon's Great Adventure, Descent: Freespace.

Modern: Halo: Reach, Modern Warfare 2, Mass Effect 2, Bayonetta, Tales of Vesperia, Fallout 3, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metroid Prime 1-3, Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam, Hearts of Iron II, Europa Universalis III, Civilization IV.

Xbox LIVE:GuncannonD
Steam ID:Guncannon
Mii code:Guncannon


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