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Gaming the Past by Jeremiah McCall

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Introduction

The Power of Simulation Games

Simulation games can model complex real-world relationships and systems in ways that are nearly impossible for static words and images. Consider, on any given day in a history class a teacher or text could declare something like, “Throughout the past, resources have been scarce and finite. This has meant that societies, historically, have had to make often difficult choices about how best to allocate resources. Societies had to make trade-offs between conflicting goals.” Reading or hearing this is a very different experience from dealing with the reality of such trade-offs in a computer simulation game like, say, Civilization. Each city in that game has a labor force that can exploit resources from one ...

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