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Games & Simulations for Historians

Monthly Archives: January 2013

   In Wednesday’s class we discussed the idea of ABM and zombie simulations. We also discussed the “Corrupted Blood” outbreak in World of Warcraft, and how virtual instances of infection can often lead to insight about how these situations would occur in the real world. Our discussion about zombies and the use of ABM in […]

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In today’s lecture, Group 8 discussed agent-based modelling (or ABM) and digital simulations which triggered a discussion on a computer glitch which created a plague in World of Warcraft and how this could be used to a valid tool for observing and studying social patterns.  After Bernado (who was there) explained that there were indeed […]

On January 29, 2013 David from Group G/7 wrote his post entitled “Virtual Time Travel”. In this short article he explained that game simulations are the closest we have come to being able to travel to the past. He wittily pointed out that all we are missing are the Flux Capacitor and a Delorean – […]

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A large part of today’s discussion was taken up by the question of whether or not digital simulations, particularly the plague that occured in World of Warcraft, can be properly applied to tell us anything about human society. For this example, two main viewpoints emerged. First, it was stated that this plague could be used […]

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Today during the discussion there was a brief conversation about SimCity, prefaced by a video of the problems of water management and pollution. There was an interesting discussion about it being nearly impossible to micromanage everything in the game, if you want to be successful. This produced a tension within me about the classic trouble […]

I’ve long loved SimCity, the original city-builder game. It’s a popular game over on Play the Past, too. I meant to talk about it during the lecture yesterday, but I got sidetracked. I draw your attention though to the new version of SimCity, to be released this spring: it runs as an agent-based model. And […]

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 I am often asked what entices me to study history, and although there are many reasons, they are often overshadowed by my interest of how one truly lived in the past. I ponder the possibilities of existing during World War II and the story constantly changes in my head, rife with extravagant  visuals recreated in my head […]


Historians, and those in the digital humanities now have the ability to create culture in a test tube. Their lab is a computer and their ingredient is raw data. ”1 ” The laboratory raises the dead over and over again by simulating lives and ancient societies. In lecture today the endless simulation of the past […]


  A butterfly flaps its wings in Central Park, and a hurricane occurs in the Atlantic. Chuck Norris grows his beard an extra inch longer and Caldera erupts in Yellowstone National Park. In the eloquent words of Jurassic Park’s Dr. Ian Malcolm “Now that’s Chaos Theory”. Applying Chaos Theory to practical real-life scenarios is what […]


 “The First Rule of Zombieland, Cardio.”1 The above title and following quote is a nod in the direction to the recent pop culture flick by Ruben Fleisher in his 2009 movie, Zombieland. This may seem completely out of left field, but the recent discussions in class about the omnipresence of rules,  Agent Based Simulations (ABMs), […]

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