Video games help students understand history

by Matthew Sandoval | staff writer

Video games have always varied in the settings they take place in which has attracted more and more fans over the years, including historians who are trying to experience times in history in a different way. Gaming has evolved in many ways and many developers have gotten more creative with the time periods they set their games in. What people least expect though, is that video games can be considered educational if historically accurate.

Battlefield 1 – A game that takes place during the gruesome time of World War 1, but make no mistake, although it is a game it can portray vivid images of what soldiers had to witness everyday. Another nice touch that adds to the historical accuracy is the weapons that are in the game, for example, what many gamers see as a joke is the miniature 2mm pistol named the Kolibri which can be found in the game. Battlefield 1 does an amazing job of using the environments in the game to add to the immersion, an example of this is the Sinai desert which has actual warfare on horseback to counter enemy tanks. Battlefield 1 also has a nice tribute for the actual soldiers that participated in the war.

Assassins Creed – This game is actually about a character named Desmond and his journey back in time ranging from the Spanish Crusades, to the revolution of the United States. This game tells a story of the assassin you play as, while he witnesses all of the unfortunate bloody tales of human history. Assassins Creed 2 actually has plague doctors around the city as a result of the Black Plague which you learn can cause a lot of death. You learn to avoid every rat you see and every dead body you encounter which becomes more and more difficult as the plague spreads.

Call of Duty World at War – This is another game that takes place in World War 1 yet offers a different experience because it focuses more on the protagonists of the war. Although the game can be one sided at times, you still learn about historical battles and sites that were plagued with war. The game is literally a climb from the bottom to the top as you fight your way through endless enemies until you finally make it to the top and place the flag letting everyone know that the war is over, but not before some traumatizing experiences that only the player can really experience.

 Gaming is a fun and innovative way for kids to learn about what has happened in the past to mold our world into what it is today. The future is bright for gaming and many people hope that schools will take advantage of it.

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