Events //
The Humanities Arcade: Playing with History & Culture in the Digital Age
Event Info
Date:Friday, 09/16/2016
Place:Scholars' Lab Common Room
Registration:Required! Details below.

On the surface, the union of the humanities and video games might seem odd, the former focused on thoughtful reflection, context and contingencies, and the latter on reflex, immediacy and instantaneous feedback. In practice, however, this union is increasingly proving to be an enormously profound one, with games providing a platform for more experiential ways of engaging history, literature, philosophy, and even religion. But what does it mean to design games within the humanities? What are the affordances and drawbacks in meshing gaming and humanistic inquiry? Join William “Bro” Adams, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a panel of award-winning NEH-funded game producers for a candid conversation about the challenges and opportunities in exploring history and culture through interactive media. Alongside discussing how the process of working in the humanities differs from (and, occasionally, aligns with) STEM-related fields, this workshop will highlight the development and production of four NEH-funded games, each at different stages of progress, and give the audience an opportunity to demo them along with their producers:

Mission US, a multi-chapter, centuries-spanning game focused on US history Walden, a game, an open-world game that allows audiences to play as Henry David Thoreau as he chases inspiration (and sustenance) during his first year at Walden Pond. Lost & Found, a digital card game set in North Africa in the 12th century that teaches medieval religious legal systems, beginning with Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah. Players take the role of villagers balancing personal needs with those of the community The Pox Hunter, a strategy game focused on a smallpox outbreak in 19th century Philadelphia

Speakers: Owen Gottlieb Assistant Professor of Interactive Games and Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology Tracy Fullerton Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is a game designer, educator and author

Lisa Rosner Distinguished Professor of History at Stockton University

Marc Ruppel Senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Public Programs, where he specializes in digital media and transmedia storytelling

William Adams Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Leah Potter Writer and designer for Electric Funstuff – an educational game studio located in New York City

  • Questions?
    Contact Scholars' Lab's Head of Public Programs Laura Miller.