The faction I ended up going with was England. I was drawn to Venice, and I initially tried being Venice, because you know I am Italian. Venice in Italy seemed like a perfect match. Too bad I was getting way too frustrated, so I am giving it a go with England. I wanted to continue the thought we had going in class on Tuesday about what to do when there is an issue with a lack of representation, as Squire alluded to when discussing Grand Theft Auto. Below are two pictures from the game which struck me.
First is the notion that the game encourages you to have high standing with the Pope. Players can do this by constructing churches and spreading Catholicism. When I first encountered this notion in the game it made me think as a history teacher. Technically, this is historically relevant, but what if a student does not relate to the game because, as Squire believes, an important question is “…how games create and mobilize hybrid identities for players, and how these identities are enacted across contexts” (Squire 20). So, how as a teacher can I design the game to connect with students if they can not contextualize themselves into the game. From tutorials that I watched, the game does not require that you are in favor of the Pope. It makes it easier, yes but it by no means requires it.
The game also calls on countries to pledge allegiance to the crusades to fight in the Holy Land, and there is some strong-worded audio when called upon. I am hoping to get some discussion because I am stuck pondering. The game has some historical accuracies—there were crusades throughout history. However, how do we teach these tough parts of history in a sensitive way, especially when the video game encourages participation in them?