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Games & Simulations for Historians

Tag Archives: agent based models

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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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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You let the dice go. They dance for a moment. Looking down, you see those serpentine eyes staring back. So you compose yourself and move your dog along to Boardwalk. Any other day, any other game, this roll could have spelled disaster. But not this day, today you take that second blue property with pride. […]

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Oh, no! You walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue. Being eaten by a grue represents a moment in time where a player, likely new to the interactive text adventure Zork1 , does not understand the ruleset: it represents an element of unforeseen and unknowable chaos. These elements are meaningful. They are a […]