Thursday, October 22, 2015

Meeples Visit Public History - More Games Designed

The Public History class continues to explore the intersection of game design, historical content, and education.  Our second round of game design included not just game mechanics, but the games had to illustrate or incorporate a real-world theme.   

The students came up with two games.  Black Gold is a resource management and territory occupation game with an eurogame feel that used the theme of competing oil companies.

The other team built a game to explain the college experience.  Players had to advance through four years of college.  Here is a classic example of taking a theme and then finding the mechanics.  Both games worked in play testing today.

Plus, we now have meeples in the class!

Our next challenge is incorporating the Civil War themes from the 154th into a game and we're looking taking the first steps toward seeing how this plays out in the digital world with Gameblox and Minecraft.

Experiencing History: The Papal Visit up Close

By Jason Damon

As a history student, it goes without saying that I’m passionate about learning about the past.  I have a particular appreciation for American history and the history of the Catholic Church, and soak up even the tiniest morsels and tidbits of the two with a Faustian greed. 
Sometimes, though, as a student of history it's easy to get caught up in what happened in the past without fully appreciating the fact that events unfolding in the present are themselves incredible.  Sometimes, I feel like I have a tendency to try and view things through the scope of yesterday and fail to soak in the magnitude of the moment.  It’s as if I need to impatiently wait for the time to pass where an event can be stamped with the label of “HISTORY” and placed neatly on the shelf before I can eagerly grab it and tear in.  Recently, however, I was blessed enough to experience something that may have shifted how I view the happenings of the world around me.
Last month, I was blessed enough to go to Washington, DC with a contingent of Bonaventure students to see Pope Francis as he visited the United States.  And oh, was there ever some history.  It was the first time the beloved pontiff visited the United States in his life.  He presided over the canonization Mass of SAINT Junipero Serra, the first time that a figure has been officially recognized as a saint on United States soil (99.9% of canonizations have been in Rome).  He addressed the U.S. Congress, the first time that the auguste political body has seen a religious figure speak to them.  And I had a (comparatively speaking) front-row seat to all of it.  I had a ticket to the Mass as well as to the West Lawn of the White House for the Congressional address. 
On the car ride down, all I could think of was how historic this was; how this was going to be a momentous event, one that would be talked about for a very long time after it was over.  I suppose my line of thinking along that line stopped around when I saw Pope Francis drive by for the first time.  Sure, I wasn’t particularly close; I was down the street a few hundred yards from where his motorcade drove by on the way to the Mass while I was standing in a security line.  And yet, I was struck not with the historic nature of it all, not by how this was going to be seen by future generations, not by how I was going to be able to put into words how incredible this was, but by the sheer magnitude of the moment.  I can’t truly put it into words, but for the rest of trip, I saw things through the eyes of an awed and humbled Catholic, not as someone waiting to dissect words or gestures or theorize on the politics behind the address or the visit or the homily. 
I was able to live during a historic visit.  But that categorization would come well after I had arrived back at St. Bonaventure. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Meet New History Major Jeremiah Horrigan

            Hello, my name is Jeremiah Horrigan and I am a freshman studying history at Saint Bonaventure. So far, I really like it here and have met some really good people. I was born in the southern part of Buffalo, which is a very Irish neighborhood and I like to take pride in that. I attended Bishop Timon in that neighborhood and a lot of my good friends from Bonas did as well. I am big on sports and politics and my favorite teams include the Bills, the Sabres, The Red Sox, and Notre Dame football. I chose history as my major for college for a variety of reasons. The major reason I did is because I’ve always had an interest in it and I’ve found it to be the most compelling to me. Another reason is that it’s my best subject and I’ve never had a problem with it. The final reason that I chose it is because it is one of the most highly recommended majors for law school. There are a lot of things I like to focus on in history but two of them go above and beyond the others. The first one is the Industrial Revolution. I find this subject to be very compelling and I really enjoy reading about Andrew Carnegie. Also, the Industrial Revolution is when Buffalo really took off as a city that plays a role as well. Another subject I enjoy is Irish History. I took a class in high school that focused on Irish History topics like the Easter uprising and Brian Boru and it was a great class. I have many goals and hopes here at Bonas and I look forward to trying to accomplish as many as possible. First of all, I’d like to maintain a high GPA, as well as meet new people and make new friends. Also, I’d like to learn as much as possible and become very knowledgeable in as many subjects of history that I can. 

Meet New History Major Dillinger Perez

My name is Dillinger Perez. I am from Springfield, Massachusetts and I attended Wilbraham Monson Academy for high school. The reason I chose to be a history major is because since I was a boy I was fascinated by the past from Napoleon to Genghis Khan. I always wanted to know more about the past and the reasons why certain things are the way they are today. My favorite history subject has always been World War II. I say World War II because there is nothing else like it in history. The sheer amount of manpower, material, technological advances, and sadly the amount of deaths have rarely been seen in warfare. My goals as a history major at Bona's is to learn as much as I can about the subject I love, so one day I can be a teacher and help other kids learn about some of the greatest stories ever told that are true.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Matthew Cressler: A Catholic Case for Reparation

Meet New History Major Joseph Aldridge

My name is Joseph Aldridge, this is my freshman year at St. Bonaventure University. I live in Rochester, New York. I went to a private catholic high school by the name of Bishop Kearney High School. I attended this high school for four years, where my love for history flourished.
A major reason I chose to be a history major was that I just love the topic in general. I have to really thank my middle school teacher the most for getting me into enjoying history as much as I do. She really introduced me to American History and how fascinating it really is. I want to use my history degree and teach in secondary education. Another reason I chose to be a history major was because I can’t see myself doing anything else in the future.

I was asked to provide my favorite subject of history; for me it would have to be American History. Why American History? I favor American History so much, because I have spent the most time studying it over the years. I have also visited multiple historical sites over the years. The historical sites that I have visited include Gettysburg, Washington D.C., and Boston. Another reason I love this type of history is because I find it to be the most interesting out of all the subjects of history there is to be offered.

A dream that I have for my years here at St. Bonaventure is to graduate and receive my degree in history. A hope that I had and still have for college in general is making new friends and hopefully having them for life. A dream that I have for college is to take my knowledge and degree and receive a job back in my hometown and teach high school students history.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Meet New History Major Megan Penn

My name is Megan Penn and I am from Clarksville, Maryland.  For high school I attended Mount de Sales Academy.  I have always had a love for history, especially after my sophomore year American History class.  My teacher’s passion for history inspired me to further explore my interest in the subject.  My favorite history subject is early 20th century European history.  During my time here at St. Bonaventure I plan to also minor in Secondary Education so I will be able to inspire a love for history in high schoolers as my teacher did for me.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Public History Presentation from the Strong

Jeremy Saucier of the Strong in Rochester where he serves as the Assistant Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games gave an excellent talk with the public history students.  Jeremy covered a lot of ground impressing the students with the range of activities that goes into making a successful museum.  Relevant to our Civil War game assignment, Jeremy spoke about the Strong's mission to be a museum of play and how that led them to do pioneering work in collecting and curating the history of electronic and digital games.