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Students learning history via games

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Rakshak Adhikari

Staff Writer

The department of history at Troy University has been offering a class on the history of games every fall since 2016.

According to Elizabeth Blum, a professor of history and the instructor for the class, History Through Games explores a variety of time periods ranging from early civilization to medieval Europe through history themed analogues and role-playing games. The class activities include history lectures, quizzes and games as well as a game designing project.

“I have been using games in classroom for a while and this class was a neat way to incorporate all of that into one,” Blum said.

The class does not have a prerequisite and fulfills the area IV of the general studies requirement.

“One of the things I find most interesting about the class is how much I am learning about history through everyday games,” said Zane Prestwood, a sophomore computer science major from Blackman, Florida, who is currently taking the class with Blum.

According to Blum, offering an interdisciplinary Game Design and Development minor is also being actively considered. The classes for the minor will be offered in history, business and art.

“At the completion of such a minor,” Blum said, “students will have designed a game by themselves that can directly go to the market and the students will have acquired the necessary skills to start a successful business.”

Students who aren’t able to take the class but are interested in learning about games can join the Troy University Board Game Alliance.

Blum serves as the faculty adviser to the newly reestablished club.

According to Madalyn Bond, a sophomore computer science major from Ashford, the Board Game Alliance wants to provide opportunities for students to meet new people and to play different types of games which may not be available to them without the club.

“We hope to introduce not only the joy of playing board games, but also the skills one develops from playing games such as strategic decision making, communication and teamwork.”

The Troy University Board Game Alliance meets in room 154 in Bibb Graves at 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

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