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'Red Dead Redemption' Is Being Used To Teach An American History Class

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'Red Dead Redemption' Is Being Used To Teach An American History Class

The bigger games are getting, it seems, the more they're becoming useful assets in education. Tore Olsson, a history professor at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has turned to using both Red Dead Redemption games in his syllabus as tools to show students the history of America between 1899 and 1911.

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Spotted by GameSpot, this professor is serious about using Rockstar's westerns as tools, despite their numerous historical inaccuracies. Olsson has created a new course called "HIUS 383: Red Dead America" where he and his students will be taking the examples in Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 to explore certain parts of American history that Rockstar shows off well.

Olsson admits that although the games are often "historically inaccurate" they actually, "skillfully broach a number of crucial historical issues in the 1899-1911 period" which include topics like "The making of Jim Crow racial violence in the South", "settler colonialism and the dispossession of Native peoples", "women's suffrage and its opponents", "the privatization of law enforcement via the Pinkerton detective agency", and a bunch more interesting topics that the professor lists.

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Although games are often used as an entertainment source, as they become more visually accurate to the times they are trying to encapsulate, the work that goes into making titles like the Red Dead games can be repurposed into useful tools elsewhere. And although Rockstar hasn't done any repurposing itself to make them teacher-friendly, Ubisoft has shown off the idea of making games education tools with the Assassin's Creed series.


If you're not already familiar with the Assassins Creed Discovery Tours, you might want to check those out, as Ubisoft uses the environments and models of games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey to teach people about Ancient Greece and other time-periods. If you're having to do homeschooling right now, for example, this might be a great way to take advantage of games you already own.

Featured Image Credit: Rockstar

Topics: News, Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar

Imogen Mellor
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