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The GDC Returns to Wichita!

July  11-13, 2024 | Newman University, Wichita, KS 


        Schedule   Travel and Housing  Pricing       


We are thrilled to return to Newman University, the home campus of Reacting Editorial Board Chair Kelly McFall, from July 11-13, 2024. Newman's campus is conveniently located less than five miles from the Wichita's Dwight D. Eisenhower Airport (ICT).

The GDC is committed to nurturing the design and development of new games using the Reacting to the Past pedagogy, as well as RTTP's intersections with many other forms of game-based learning. At the conference, participants will play several Reacting-style games that are currently in development; work to expand and explore ideas for new games; and engage in workshops focused on game design principles and processes.

As always, GDC includes after-hours game nights as well as the chance to explore  Old Town Wichita, and connect through work and play at what we fondly describe as "summer camp for Reactors."

GDC is intended for faculty and staff who already have a passing familiarity with Reacting to the Past, or other educational games. Come to playtest games, share your own nascent ideas through workshops and pitch sessions, make connections with fellow game-based learning fans, and enjoy!

SCHEDULE (subject to change)


3:00 - 9:00 PM 

ARRIVAL/CHECK IN for those staying on campus


9 AM - 12:30 PM

PLAYTESTS 1 & 2 - Choose one:

The Diamond Necklace Affair: Gossip, Misinformation & Marie Antoinette's Public Image -
Vanessa Arnaud

This game immerses players in  a pivotal scandal in 1785-1786 France that gravely tarnished Marie Antoinette's image and fueled public unrest against the monarchy, setting the stage for the French Revolution. Over six sessions, players enhance their information and visual literacy, gaining insight into the impact of gossip, misinformation, and the phenomenon of "fake news" during a significant historical event. Additionally, the game delves into the desacralization of the French monarchy, explores gender dynamics in 18th-century France, and examines the influence of printed propaganda and the rise of the public sphere. During the game, students use information literacy, visual literacy, deductive reasoning, and critical thinking to grapple with a host of issues that impact how they arrive at the truth.

The Gothic Crisis: Transforming the Roman World, 376-382CE  - Jay Diehl 

"The Gothic Crisis" simulates a key moment in the late Roman Empire: the appearance of two large groups of barbarian refugees on the border of the Roman Empire in 376 CE, both seeking permission to settle permanently within its borders. Students take on roles aligning them either with one of the barbarian groups or the Roman Empire, and re-enact the negotiations over the terms of this settlement, confronting such issues as provisioning the Gothic refugees, maintaining the loyalty of their followers, internal power struggles, and faulty intelligence.

The terms of the debate are rooted in various ideological positions on the differences between Romans and barbarians, as well as the history of Roman/barbarian interactions and of barbarian settlers in the Roman world.  By dealing with both the ideological debate over Roman/barbarian identity and the logistical problems of resolving the crisis, students explore the challenges facing the late Roman Empire and the ways in which the changing shape of Roman/barbarian interactions transformed the Roman world.

12:30 - 1:30 PM


1:30 - 3:00 PM


Pick a microgame, pitch session, or workshop or attend.

3:00 - 3:30 PM


3:30 - 5:00 PM


Pick another microgame, pitch session, or workshop or attend.

6:30 - 10:30 PM



9 AM - 12:30 PM

PLAYTESTS 3 & 4 - Choose one:

The Investiture Controversy: Church and State on the Road to Canossa, 1075-77 Kyle C. Lincoln

Pope Gregory VII (r. 1073-1085), riding high on reformist spirit, has progressively sought to expand the temporal power of the papacy and to bring the Western Church into stricter obedience to Rome. In the spring of 1075, Gregory issued the papal bull Dictatus papae, boldly claiming that the pope, and only the pope, had the power to depose both bishops and secular rulers—even emperors. When Emperor Henry IV (r.1056-1105) invested his chaplain Theobald with the episcopacy of Milan later that year, Gregory responded by excommunicating five of Henry’s advisors despite imperial investiture being a time-honored tradition. Tempers flared and a series of strongly worded public letters flew between the two men, bringing Western Christendom to a crisis point where it had to decide who held ultimate authority, St. Peter’s representative on Earth or God’s divinely anointed secular ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

War of 1812 the Treaty of Ghent - Mark Johnson

This L2 game explores the causes and objectives of the War of 1812. Specifically, it asks students to think about the importance of perspective in how an event is viewed and thought about. Although the two "formal" parties in the conflict were the American and British governments, this game also introduces perspectives from colonial Canada and the various Native tribes who participated, or were affected by, this war.

12:30 - 1:30 PM 


1:30 - 3:00 PM


Pick a microgame, pitch session, or workshop or attend.

3:00 - 3:30 PM


3:30 - 5:00 PM   


Come hear from Jonathan Truitt of Central Michigan University's Center for Learning the Games and Simulations


9 AM - 12:30 PM

PLAYTEST 5 & 6 - Choose one:

Christine de Pizan and the "Querelle des Femmes" - Jennifer Edwards

Set in 1413 in the French court during a lull in the Hundred Years War, this L3 game takes place during in the reign of Queen Isabeau of Bavaria and King Charles VI, whose illness absented him for long periods of time. The game  is divided into four segments examining debates over:

literature (representations of women, obscenity, and immorality in the Romance of the Rose); political theory (restrictions on women inheriting or passing on claims to titles in France under the Salic Law); political affairs (can/should women serve as regent of France and/or guardian of the heir?); and diplomacy (women's roles in negotiations with England's new king, Henry V).  Together the segments emphasize the complexity of women's roles, responsibilities, and representations in late medieval France.

A Different Kind of War: The United States, the Cold War, and Vietnam, 1963-65 - Nick Proctor

This game is set in the middle of the Cold War:  a global contest between the “Free World” led by the United States, and communism, a totalitarian political ideology that most Americans believed to be controlled by the Soviet Union. The game examines the violent and sometimes brutal interactions between communist efforts to liberate nations from colonialism, American fears about Communist aggression, the resulting US strategy of containment, and the volatile situation in Southeast Asia during the mid-1960s.

12:30 - 1:30 PM




Includes all conference events. Members need to sign into your account in order to register at the member rate. Become a member here

 Early Registration (by April 30)
 Regular Registration (after May 1)

 Consortium Member    $200


 Non-Member  $200  $250



Newman's campus is a short car ride from Wichita's Dwight D. Eisenhower Airport.

Single-occupancy rooms are available on Newman's campus at a rate of $40 a night, with a one-time linens fee of $25 to apply regardless of the length of stay. Check-in begins on the afternoon/evening of Wednesday July 10, with an option to extend your stay to Sunday, July 14, for a maximum stay of four nights. Lodging is optional; if you wish to stay off campus, there are plenty of hotels between the airport and the campus.

Meals will be provided on campus for all participants during the conference: three breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners, as well as snacks and beverages, for a total of $61.  Meal service is not optional.

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