First, see the next post for my long diatribe on Gee, it is much more thoughtful and extensive (and much, much linger) than this one!

Now, I do not want to go on too long on either Ferguson or Myst (see above) and, since many have already commented on Myst and I have no real strong feelings on it one way or the other (except that it was okay, nothing I would ever play normally but mainly because I like Command and Conquer and Age of Empires and strategic games like that…plus, I’ll admit that I did not give it near as much time as others did), I shall thus copy the notes I took while reading Ferguson’s article (I actually tried the write notes in Notepad as I read the article on the cpu and it worked fairly well, but I would only probably do it for relatively short articles, less than 10 pages or so…but I like saving the paper and thus, the environment!!):

The thing Ferguson is seemingly searching for is a way to play a game of “what if’s” with WWII and describing that as somehow doing appropriate history, but isn’t that going against what we are taught as historians, that playing that game is fun and interesting, but not necessarily the best scholarship?

I see the biggest problem with this approach to teaching history as confusing the real issues and events of history by too much attention paid to the outcomes (whether the real ones or altered ones) and not enough on the actions taken that resulted in those outcomes. Would the games come along with long explanations of what the actual actors did during the given crises? How would one then decide which strategic path to take instead if they wished a different outcome? And once one starts on that different path, what value does that really have for a student of history except to say, “well, this could have happened and this could have happened given these circumstances”?

My Comments on other people’s Blogs:

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