Gaming the past : designing and using digital games as historical learning contexts

Hiriart, JFV ORCID: 2019, Gaming the past : designing and using digital games as historical learning contexts , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

PDF (PhD Thesis)
Download (47MB) | Preview


In the last decades, digital games based on historical themes or settings have become an important form of historical engagement. In many ways, this new way of connecting with the past presents unique characteristics, setting the medium apart from previous forms of historical mediation. In spite of the growing academic interest in harnessing this power for historical education, many questions remain unclear with regard to the representational appropriateness of the medium and the theoretical and practical problems involved in designing and using historical computer games in school classrooms. Focusing on these educational settings, this research aims to analyse the potential of digital games as a new form of historical representation, gaining a better understanding of they can be designed, produced and effectively implemented in these contexts. Succinctly, this research project was designed to explore, reflect and evaluate, through the establishment of an ongoing dialogue between practice and theory, the effectiveness of video games as educational instruments for learning and teaching history. By adopting a practice-based approach, this study was led by the iterative development of a series of historical game prototypes, designed to explore everyday life in early Anglo-Saxon Britain. At different stages of design, the prototypes were evaluated by historians, archaeologists, and educators, moving at a later stage to their implementation and testing within the history curriculum of a primary school. In this phase, qualitative and quantitative data was collected following a pre-post test methodology. By making empirical connections between educational theory, historical learning, and game design, this research contributes to a better understanding of the theoretical and practical issues involved in designing and implementing historical game-based learning environments.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: Juan Hiriart
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 12:31
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:28

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)