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Digital Humanities at Georgia Southern

Gaming: A Creative Exploration of the Humanities

Why gaming?


The Digital Humanities are in an advantageous position to use gaming as a method of exploring various subject is the humanities. It's accessibility is easier now than ever- even those with very little tech skill can create a text story game on programs like Twine. This section of the toolkit explores some of the original popular gaming programs, modern day gaming related humanities projects, and ways to get started on one of these projects yourself.


The Games: 

Classic MS DOS Games: An archive of old MS-DOS games that can be played on an emulator.  Oregon Trail (1990 version) and Art Canfil's Taipan! (1979 for TRS-80, separate website) are two early historical simulation games.

Jason Rohrer Games: Don't be fooled by the minimalist interface, that is the precisely the point with these highly philosophical games.

Foldit: One of the most successful examples of "gamification" and crowd sourcing--this game is used by scientists to help find patterns of proteins.  Digital Humanist in the sense of using games and social strategies to solve problems.

Metadata Games: Another crowdsourcing game--this one for tagging metadata attached to images from museums and elsewhere.

The Cat and the Coup: The Cat and the Coup is a documentary videogame in which you play the cat of Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran.

Tracy Fullerton's Walden: Only testing in museums right now but should be available soon, turning the experience of Thoreau's Walden into a game.

Tiltfactor: Mary Flanagan's studio for designing games with social impact.  Several games here.

Rise Up: The Game of People and Power: A board game where all layers play on the same time to fight social injustice and inequality. Created by the TESA collective.



Unity: 3D game design engine--free to learn on.  Eventually you'll need to learn a bit of C# or Javascript.  Probably the most commonly used game design engine.

Unreal: 3D game design engine--free to learn on.  Eventually you'll need to learn a bit of C++.

Gamesalad: An easy to use game design engine--especially good for educators but short on tutorials for PC. 2D.

Stencyl: Easy to use game design engine, 2D.  Easy to export to other sites.

GameMaker Studio: Easy to use game design engine, 2D.  Hard to post to other sites without buying the package. and Game Jolt: These sites host games created by Indie developers for them to promote their game to be downloaded for free, donation, or charge.

Humble Bundle: Humble Bundle is a game and game software bundling site that often features game making software bundles for much cheaper than retail value- and it all goes to a good cause.


Readings and Confrences:

The Atlantic: This article explores people learning historical narratives from games and how historians will study video games.

Darfur is Dying: A landmark "game for change" in 2006, this "serious game" is about the Darfur Crisis (2003-ongoing)

Indycade: Independent games--main conference in Los Angeles.

Game Developers Conference: A once a year conference where game developers discuss the latest news and skills in the industry.