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HIST 350: Native Americans & the Clash of Empires: RTTP General Information

Basic Concept of a Reactng to the Past Game

Higher level history courses are often taught as seminars.   In a traditional college seminar the instructor uses a Socratic approach by guiding  students through difficult texts by posing questions. The concept for Reacting to the Past (RTTP)  is a college seminar with a gamey twist.  In RTTP these questions are posed to you within an environmental context of an historical situation in the form of an elaborate game.  Within this context each student is assigned the role of an historical figure that participated in this situation in the past.  The player must work within the particular motivations, goals, and objectives which that character operated in the actual historical situation.  By doing so the student attempts to fulfill the objectives that will allow them an/or their faction to"win" or at least survive the game.  

By interacting with other player's, whose roles are likewise attempting to navigate the historical situation, students are plunged directly into the historical environment and must learn (and survive) the concepts, issues, and texts of the historical situation from the inside.

Grand Introduction to the RTTP Experience

This video is a short (4:45) description and explanation of the play of the RTTP game Defining a Nation: India on the Eve of Independence, 1945 by students at Barnard College.