Ancient Greek History Video Games Now Part of College Curriculum

Story-Based Video Games
A realistic and beautifully rendered image of an historic Ubisoft video game. Many of these games are used, even at the college level, to stimulate interest in history among higher education students. Credit: Facebook / Ubisoft

Enjoying our on-screen lives in modern times, college professors are now using story-based video games in college classrooms across the country, instilling a love and appreciation for history in them. students.

Exploring the realities as depicted in these historic video games allows students to experience history painlessly. The creators of Assassin’s Creed also explored scenarios such as the Crusades, the American Revolution, and the Golden Age of Piracy.

University of Kansas historian recounts Smithsonian magazine that video games are now essential to “creating public knowledge of the past” and that as such, they do have a place in the classroom today.

Associate Professor Andrew Denning says the growing sophistication of history-based video games and the growing number of professional historians who have themselves grown up on such games are breaking through long-held skepticism about the use such methods in the learning process.

Of course, Denning, 38, is one of those young teachers who are not afraid to use every learning tool possible to spark interest and understanding of our history.

One of his own courses uses the “Red Dead Redemption” series, which explores America’s problems at the turn of the century. The details and context of games like this “far exceed that of a historical monograph,” says Denning in a recent article he published in the American historical review.

Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft – the most famous historical video game

In the series “Assassin’s Creed”, rightly famous for using real historical events as the backdrop for their games, a series based on ancient Greece – the eleventh in the long history of the video game series – became very popular. Using real characters and places as the backdrops for their games, students learn how their decisions could lead to a range of outcomes in the fascinating world of ancient Greece.

The company invites players to “become a legendary Spartan hero in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, an inspiring adventure where you must forge your destiny and define your own path in a world on the verge of being torn apart.”

By opting for a male character from “Alexios” or a female character named “Kassandra”, the game’s creators tell participants that they can “embark on an epic journey that will take you from your humble beginnings as a Spartan mercenary outcast. to a legendary Greek hero and uncover the truth about your mysterious past as Alexios or Kassandra.

“Sail to the far reaches of the Aegean, forming alliances and making enemies. Along the way, you will meet historical figures, mythical figures and a whole host of others who will have an impact on your trip.

Introducing the character of Kassandra, the game’s creators say, “They call her misthios – mercenary – and she will take what is due to her.”

“Kassandra was raised by her parents to be fierce and indifferent, the ideal Spartan child, destined for greatness. But when a terrible tragedy leaves her stranded on the island of Kefalonia, near Greece, she decides to find work as a mercenary, far from the constraints of Sparta.

Some game companies have reached unprecedented creative heights, portraying ancient Greece and other historic settings with great artistry. And they pay great attention to accuracy now – to the point of even hiring historian consultants when they create their games.

“The new edition of the Oregon Trail made reference to scholars of Native America,” Denning said Smithsonian. Here are some other games that can rightfully find their way into a college curriculum. Maybe a young person you know might find the story far from a rote recitation of dates and facts – it’s actually quite fascinating – especially when it comes to the world of Ancient Greece.

The action-adventure series not only provide beautifully rendered depictions of architecture, Ubisoft’s “Discovery” mode also offers video tours – which have been curated by historians and archaeologists – of these ancient places.

Spartan Wars: Blood of Fire, Tap4FunCorps Ltd.

This strategy-based video game has 155,000 five-star reviews out of a total of 220,000. It is a real-time mobile / tablet game, using beautifully rendered animation, that lets you build your own Greek city. antique.

“Spartan Wars: Blood and Fire” also allows you to build your own army to defend your territory in the (unlikely!) Case of “server-to-server war”. The game was developed by Tap4Fun Corp. Ltd.

Zeus: Master of Olympus, building the city of Impressions Games

As for a city building game series, this is one of the best that features Ancient Greece. As a player, you are cast into the ancient land at a time of great intrigue and adventure – where Greek gods, mythology, and legends all played pivotal roles in society.

The game offers several options for players, including a story mode, a missions mode and a sandbox mode. This is the fifth standalone game in the series by City Building from Impressions Games.

300: March to Glory, Collision Studios / Warner Bros.

Most modern viewers are familiar with the extremely popular recent film “300”. Likewise, in the game “300: March To Glory”, the player is Leonidas, the ruler of Sparta, before the time of the famous Battle of Thermopylae.

Based on the hugely popular movie and comic book at the time of its creation, the game was developed by Collision Studios and published by Warner Bros. Games. “300: March to Glory” gives the player the chance to rewrite history… and who wouldn’t want to be able to do it?

God of War, Santa Monica Studios

God of War is a bloody, battle-filled adventure and strategy game that also takes place in ancient Greece. Developed by Santa Monica Studios, it revolves around Kratos, the protagonist, who meets all of the most famous Greek gods in Greek mythology. The graphics are quite detailed, as Kratos completes his “quests” while taking players through ancient landscapes.

Attack 1942, Charles Games

Other games, however, take us to places that are not far from us at all – places we might prefer not to go but we have to do that if we are to understand our world. One of those story-based video games used in school curricula today is Attack 1942, which depicts the grim reality of life under the Nazis during World War II.

This game depicts characters living in the Czech lands during those dark years, with players asking the characters to relate what happened to them during the Occupation. This type of interactive storytelling shows students how personal and collective stories are integral to any historical conflict and how they reflect different facets of reality.

Crusader Kings, Paradox Development Studio

In this complex strategy game, players rule over a medieval dynasty, choosing from an array of scenarios regarding alliances and exploring the results if the story took alternate turns.

For example, students can see how the story would have played out if little Wales had been able to rise up and take control of England instead of the other way around. Such thought experiments are helpful in understanding history and how our reality today depends on many factors that could easily have been completely the opposite.

Battlefield, EA DICE

Shedding light on the realities of WWI and WWII for a generation now far removed from it, players can explore their cataclysmic events from many different angles, including the Italian Arditi of WWI. Many other games of this type focus exclusively on major battles. undertaken by the United States, the British or the Soviets. This series allows us to better understand the chain of events of this time, several decades after the closure of the parish.

Brothers in arms, Gearbox software

This game, focused on shooting skills, is taken to a new level by its realistic representations of places and events. can also offer cinematic representations of historical dramas. The tactics chosen by the participants in the Second World War, including the use of infantry units, are explored here in all their facets. Their reconstructions of the battles of war allow for completely immersive experiences in exploring the strategy and results of the conflict.