HGN Education Theme Event

We’re thrilled to be announcing the panel date/time and our wonderful speakers for the theme of Education and Historical Games. You may have seen our call for contributions for the theme, which focuses on the challenges that face both educators and developers when making games about the past. The theme kicked off with the fantastic Rosalind Hulse, discussing Gestapo (1976) and Rosenstrasse (2022): Challenges and lessons for Holocaust-themed TRPGs. We’ve also included posts on Education resources and Adam Chapman has a two-part post on the theme. Entitled ‘Achievement Unlocked? – Problematising Games in History Education’, you can read part one here and part two here.

The HGN theme on history, education and games invited contributions on games of all kinds (digital and analogue), where contributions could reflect on “education” and history (broadly defined). We’re excited for our panel to discuss a wide range of questions from what sort of claims do games make to teach us about the past? to how reliable are they? We’ll be asking what kinds of historians do games make of us? Relating back to our earlier themes – how can games be put to work to deliver historical learning in an ethical and thoughtful manner, avoiding the privileging of colonialist or “truth”-led perspectives? And whether games actually teach us history, or are the list-makers wrong?

With these questions in mind, then, we are pleased to announce the lineup for our next HGN theme event, which will take place on Wednesday 13 April 2022, at 16:00 UK time (15:00 UTC). 

One first guest this quarter is Stéphanie-Anne Ruatta. Stéphanie is a Historian with Ubisoft Quebec. She has been working for the Ubisoft Québec studio now for many years, and, as a doctor in Classics, led the historic research aspects on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Discovery Tour : Ancient Greece and Immortals Fenyx Rising. She also has a strong background in historical tourism and presented a lot of her work to the public and media. Her expertise has since been attached to the procedures by which game developers establish an immersive historical experience by using historical research to enhance the authenticity of game world. Stéphanie is well placed to discuss the challenges of creating educational content in and around the development of the hugely successful historical games Ubisoft are known for! 

Our second guest is Holly Gramazio, Holly is a game designer, curator and writer. Holly’s research interests are predominantly in games that invite people to make something creative while they play, or that get players looking at their environment in new ways. Holly has worked on a wide range of site-specific projects and you can read more about these here. Holly founded Now Play This, a festival of experimental game design based at Somerset House in London and running annually as part of the London Games Festival (this year it’s 8-10 April 2022). Her more recent projects include writing the script for videogame, Dicey Dungeons (winner of the 2019 Indiecade Grand Jury Award) and putting together New Rules, a collection of essays about play during the pandemic

Our final guest is Kasia Smith. Kasia is a Regeneration Manager with North Ayrshire Council. Previously Kasia was the Regeneration Officer delivering on the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae. Kasia specialises in built heritage conservation and heritage-led outreach initiatives, and has previous experience in architecture, urban design, planning and building conservation and is particularly interested in innovation, public engagement and sustainability. As part of the outreach for the Millport CARS Kasia worked with students from Abertay University to create the Isle of Cumbrae in Minecraft.

The event will, once again, be chaired by HGN’s own Adam Chapman. All of our participants will contribute to the theme in the lead-up to the event, and we’ll be able to bring all of this together in the panel discussion at the end of the theme period. Event tickets are available via Eventbrite. And if you would like to contribute to the site on this theme, please get in touch via the email link below.

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