Rome Revisited: Using Video Games to Teach about the Ancient World

By: Luke Karis '20

Advising Faculty: Darryl Phillips

A video game set in the late Roman Republic to teach the player about this fascinating time period.

Project/Mission Statement

My creative mission is to use video games as an educational tool without having to sacrifice the fun that goes into playing games. In my experience there exist a reasonable amount of educational games in the world; however, they are often created for younger audiences and don’t do a good job in replicating what makes playing video games fun. These types of games sacrifice so much in terms of gameplay, replayability, and story in order to make them educational and often fit for kids to play. I don’t think that games need to be this rigid in how they fall in being either fun or educational; instead I think that games can be both fun to play and great teaching tools for a vast array of topics. Given how the popularity of video games have grown over the past couple years, I would like to see, and contribute to, the development of educational games, especially for adults. Just because most adults don’t take classes anymore doesn’t mean they should stop learning and I think that video games are a great way to teach people who might not feel like they have the time or energy to learn new things.

My creative mission correlates directly with my senior integrative project: a video game to teach about the late Roman Republic. In my game you play as a Roman member of the political elite trying to gain status and power during this fascinating time in Ancient Roman history. One main goal of this game is to balance the fun of making decisions and interacting with historical figures, while keeping the game based in historical facts so that the player will learn about this time period by simply playing through the game. It is this learning without explicitly teaching strategy which I hope will help my game reach a wider audience and make the game fun to play. At this point my game is not ready to be released to the general public but I plan to continue working on it after I graduate so that eventually I can make it available, free of charge, for anyone who wants to play it and learn.

Additional Material

Rome Revisited: Using Video Games to Teach about the Ancient World

Related Fields: Ammerman Center