The Educational Value of Historically Authentic, Not Necessarily Accurate, Narratives

I agree with much of McCall and Chapman’s argument for the value of historically authentic narrative as an educational tool to explore how and why historical events happened. Narrative-based learning through such platforms as video games can assist the big picture gathered from s or the facts/context from historical texts, and combined can create a more complete picture. However, I think that there is there is still a bias against video games as an educational game. For example, if someone were to tell me about a historical event and cite a video game as their source, I would think it was unusual and that the information may not be as credible as if they had cited information from a traditional History class. However, that may also be indicative of my personal bias or a byproduct of many of the criticisms of historical video games.

Reading this article raised two questions that I as someone who has never played any of the games that the article references or encountered much of the video game industry struggle to discern the answers to: could critics’/people’s expectation for complete accuracy in video games responds to come from the immersive nature of these games (or video games in general) as compared to other forms of entertainment media? Does the target market of a given game alter the way that developers shape their narratives or how a player perceives historical events (e.g. stressing battles/conflict points for a war game vs. a less battle-oriented historical game?)?

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