Beyond the “Historical” Simulation: Using Theories of History to Inform Scholarly Game Design.


  • Jerremie Clyde University of Calgary
  • Howard Hopkins St. Mary's University College
  • Glenn Wilkinson St. Mary's University College


The authors of this paper present a case for a gamic mode of history that focuses on the construction of the historical narrative via procedural rhetoric. The gamic mode of history presented in the paper maintains the constructionist epistemologies and explanatory narratives for the creation of reasonably justifiable truths found in many current text based works of scholarly history. It maintains them yet changes the mode to an interactive digital form where the reader explorers the historical argument through meaningful decision making and play. This paper establishes that the epistemologies of constructionist history are not mode dependent which allows for a change of mode without a change in epistemology. This is different from some other recent explorations of digital forms of history where in the pursuit of historical accurate reconstructions of the past researchers fail to address how we construct knowledge about the past, or assume that how we know the past much change with the mode of expression. It is suggested by this paper that in the gamic mode it is not the historical past and accepted epistemologies one should reconstruct, but simply the mode of the historical narrative about the past.

Author Biography

Jerremie Clyde, University of Calgary

Liaison Librarian for History and Greek and Roman Studies






Dimensions of Design