• Campers

    Rob MacDougall

    I am a historian of business, technology, and pseudoscience, especially in the U.S. Gilded Age. I'm also a sometime gamer and game designer, interested in digital history and the intersection of gaming and historical thinking.

    My Posts

    [Session Bleg] Teaching Digital History/Humanities Methods?

    Thursday, March 18th, 2010 | robotnik

    Hi folks. I’ve already proposed a session (on games and gaming and play – and I’ve chattered on about that subject this week at my own blog) and I don’t want to double-dip, but here is a request for a session I wouldn’t be qualified to lead myself, but one I’d certainly attend with interest if anyone else offered to lead it,  hint hint.

    Next fall I’ll be trying to fill the very big shoes of Bill Turkel, teaching our department’s grad seminar on digital history methods. I would love to steal from hear from anybody who has taught dedicated digital history or humanities courses, at any level, about their experiences, ideas, best practices, etc.

    See you soon!

    Playful Historical Thinking

    Monday, March 8th, 2010 | robotnik

    Hello, THATCampers! My name is Rob MacDougall. I’m an assistant professor of history at the University of Western Ontario; I’m also a longtime gamer and sometime game designer, and I’m hoping to talk at THATCamp about the intersection of games, gaming, and historical thinking.

    Here’s what I said in my THATCamp application, more or less:

    I’d like to talk about games (digital and otherwise), play, and history–how games, toys, and digital play might be used to teach history and encourage playful historical thinking. (My thoughts run towards historical thinking but the conversation can surely include other humanities disciplines too.) Using games to teach in the history and humanities is hardly a new idea, but I must confess that many efforts in this area have not  been too impressive in my eyes. I wonder if we can connect the latest research about historical thinking (Sam Wineburg, Peter Seixas, et al) with developments in gaming and other playful uses of technology (I’m thinking of simulation games & models, but also “pervasive” games/ARGs, history toys/appliances (a la Bill Turkel), and the “procedural rhetoric” of “persuasive games” (Ian Bogost)). I think we ought to work backwards from the kinds of humanistic thinking we would like to inculcate rather than simply shoehorning educational content into existing games.

    (Here’s a longer post on my personal blog, “Old is the New New,” about playful historical thinking. I hope to elaborate further as THATCamp approaches.)

    There must be other THATCampers interested in digital games and play; should we organize a session? Or a game?