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American History Games 

Browse games that would fit well in an American History course from pre-revolutionary to contemporary America.


COLONIAL & REVOLUTIONARY AMERICA


AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776

Enter the political and social chaos of a revolutionary New York City, where patriot and loyalist forces argued and fought for advantage among a divided populace. Students engage with the ideological foundations of revolution and government to have their side in control of New York City at the end of 1776.

7-11 Sessions 11-29+ Students 18th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)


BACON'S REBELLION

Bacon's Rebellion, 1676-1677: Race, Class, and Frontier Conflict in Colonial Virginia

A conflict within the colonial Virginia gentry---the elite planters have been rewarded for loyalty to the established order but are in disagreement over Virginia’s governance. With a powerful elite class ever increasing their authority and landholdings, the lower classes of Anglo and Afro-Virginians have become increasingly restless, difficult, and dangerous.

6-7 Sessions 12-30+ Students 17th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)



CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION

The Constitutional Convention of 1787: Constructing the American Republic

Brings to life the debates that most profoundly shaped American government. As representatives to the convention, students must investigate the ideological arguments behind possible structures for a new government and create a new constitution.

8-15 Sessions 12-40 Students 18th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)



ELEVENTH PILLAR

Raising the Eleventh Pilar: The Ratification Debate of 1788

Students sit as delegates to the New York State Ratifying Convention. Eight states have ratified to date, but a ninth is needed to give effect to the Constitution. The central issue of the game is democratic representation and the debate between the federalists and Antifederalists.

3 Sessions 7-100+ Students 18th Century North America Flashpoints (What's this Mean?)



FOREST DIPLOMACY

Forest Diplomacy: Cultures in Conflict on the Pennsylvania Frontier, 1757

Draws students into the colonial frontier; where Pennsylvania settlers and the Delaware Indians (or Lenâpé) are engaged in a vicious and destructive war. Students engage in a treaty council in an attempt to bring peace back to the frontier.

7-9 Sessions 12-33 Students 18th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)


TRIAL OF ANNE HUTCHINSON

The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law, and Intolerance in Puritan New England

Recreates one of the most tumultuous and significant episodes in early American history: the struggle between the followers and allies of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and those of Anne Hutchinson, a strong-willed and brilliant religious dissenter.

7-9 Sessions 11-19 Students 17th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)



WESTWARD EXPANSION


KENTUCKY, 1861

Kentucky, 1861: Loyalty, State, and Nation

Pulls students into the secession crisis following Lincoln's 1860 election. During a special session of the Kentucky legislature, set against the looming threat of violence, students grapple with questions about the future of slavery and the constitutionality of secession.

6-10 Sessions 11-28+ Students 19th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)


RADICAL RECONSTRUCTION

Radical Reconstruction in New Orleans, 1868-1876

At the end of the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery, but this was not the end of conflict. As the largest city in the South, New Orleans was home to thousands of recently-enslaved Freedpeople as well as French-speaking Black Creoles, white unionists, German immigrants, and Yankee carpetbaggers. This game examines the ways in which these groups interacted with one another and contended with the myriad challenges of the Reconstruction era.

6-7 Sessions 11-30 Students 19th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)



RED CLAY

Red Clay, 1835: Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty

A treaty negotiation in Red Clay, Tennessee will decide the terms of American Indian removal from the American Southeast. As pressure mounts on the Cherokee to accept treaty terms, students must confront issues such as nationhood, westward expansion, and culture change.

8-9 Sessions 14-30+ Students 19th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)



THE PROGRESSIVE ERA

THE ELECTION OF 1912

Progressivism at High Tide: The Election of 1912

Places students in the midst of one of the most fascinating political events of U.S. history--the presidential election of 1912, in which all of the candidates described themselves as "progressive." But what did it mean to be "progressive"? Students must question the basic principles of progressivism, and how could one apply those principles into specific policy questions.

8 Sessions 13-31 Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)


FIRESTONE IN LIBERIA

U.S. Investment in Liberia, 1926-1932: "Mr. Firestone, What Are You Up To?"

The ambitious investment by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in the West African country of Liberia is at a crossroads. Recent reports of slave labor in Liberia have come to the attention of the League of Nations and US State Department and the international attention given to these reports could have a grave impact on the future of the Company.  The League of Nations has investigated the labor issues in Liberia and has called witnesses to London to provide their testimony: should the future of this troubled country include a role for the US company or is it time for Firestone to leave Liberia?

6-9 Sessions 14-30 Students 20th Century Africa Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)



GREENWICH VILLAGE 2ND EDITION

Greenwich Village, 1913: Suffrage, Labor, and the New Woman, Second Edition

This game takes students to the beginning of the modern era when urbanization, industrialization, and massive waves of immigration were transforming the U.S. way of life. Suffragists and Labor organizers converge in Greenwich Village to debate their views with bohemians who seek personal transformations to create the new men and women of the twentieth century. Students must decide which social changes are most needed, the ideals they espouse, and the best ways to realize their goals.

8-9 Sessions 15-35 Students 20th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)


HARLEM, 1919

Harlem, 1919: A Question of Leadership

EDDIE's is a fictional barbershop where men of all social stations converge to discuss the news of the day. EDDIE’s barbers vie to persuade the clients that their favored leader’s point of view will take the community into the next decade. Although the barbers support W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and A. Philip Randolph, other ideas –both traditional and radically new—will emerge as the game unfolds.

6-7 Sessions 20-25 Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)


JAPANESE EXCLUSION

Japanese Exclusion in California, 1906-1915

In the wake of the 1906 earthquake, a progressively-minded San Francisco School Board votes to remove Japanese schoolchildren from their regular schools in order to send them to the segregated “Oriental School” in Chinatown. This event occurs against a backdrop of violent attacks on Japanese people in California.

6-12 Sessions 10-42 Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)



PATERSON, 1913

Paterson, 1913: A Labor Strike in the Progressive Era

New technologies are changing the nation's silk industry, workers are losing ground, labor organizations are offering solutions from reformist to radical. A city's economy hangs in the balance: what will happen? Can you save Paterson and its people?

3-5 Sessions 11-35 Students 20th Century North America Flashpoints (What's this Mean?)


VERSAILLES, 1919

Peacemaking, 1919: The Peace Conference at Versailles

Places students in the complicated and politically fraught peace conference that will bring an end to the Great War. Students represent nations as they seek to bring about peace not only for the present, but also the future. For this game, students work primarily in topical subcommittees charged with recommending course of action to the Council of Five. The result will be a treaty by many hands, many visions, and many competing interests.

7-9 Sessions 10-28 Students 20th Century Europe, International Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)



CONTEMPORARY AMERICA


Democrats gather at their National Convention in Chicago to debate a platform for a deeply divided party. Factions are split over issues such as civil rights, infrastructure, and the war on poverty—not to mention the war in Vietnam.

5-7 Sessions 14-61 Students 21st Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)


CONGRESSIONAL AIDS HEARINGS

After a Long Battle: Congressional Response to the AIDS Epidemic, 1982-1985

Asks players to put themselves in the shoes of those living at the height of the AIDS epidemic in America when next to nothing was known about the virus. By taking the roles of congressional representatives, government epidemiologists, doctors, researchers, gay activists, preachers, journalists, and citizens, students can understand the radical changes to society when a new disease caught the country unprepared.

6-11 Sessions 10-30 Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)


DIET AND KILLER DISEASES

Diet and Killer Diseases: The McGovern Committee Hearings, 1977

Many trace the origin of the low-fat diet craze to the Senate hearings of the McGovern Committee in 1977. This game examines the scientific evidence available in 1977 by expanding the hearings to include a larger range of voices than were invited to the actual hearing. Students will take the role of senators and the media while examining scientific evidence at the time linking dietary fat to health.

3-8 Sessions 6-36 Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?) (STEM)



FOOD FIGHT

Food Fight: Challenging the USDA Food Pyramid, 1991

Set during a 1991 Congressional hearing that evaluated the USDA’s development of the Food Pyramid, a document that angered various agribusiness groups and some nutrition experts. This Open Access Reacting Game can be used in food and nutrition general education science courses and introductory chemistry and biology courses.

3-5 Sessions 11-35 Students 20th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)


GUERRILLA GIRLS

Guerrilla Girls in our Midst: 1984-1987

The booming 1980s New York City art scene saw the emergence of a feminist art collective known as the Guerrilla Girls who exposed contemporary art world sexism and racism. Major questions for debate range from whether the art world is sexist and should embrace affirmative action to whether artistic quality even matters, who gets to determine such quality, and whether one can legitimately tie quality to sincerity of expression within a postmodern world.

8-9 Sessions 10-34+ Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)


KANSAS, 1999

Kansas, 1999: Evolution or Creationism

Christian Conservatives on the Kansas Board of Education have deleted macroevolution and Big Bang cosmology from the state science curriculum. The game centers on the election of a new Board of Education which must, for legal reasons, revisit the decision. Questions are raised about the role of religion in American society, the power of religious fundamentalism in the modern world, and the nature of science.

7-9 Sessions 12-30+ Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?) (STEM)


PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE

Physician-Assisted Suicide: Autonomy, Ethics, Morality, and the End of Life

The California legislature, governor, and courts consider approval of the End of Life Option Act (EOLA) to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Players engage in the forty-year debate from 1976-2016 springing from the case of Karen Ann Quinlan, which raised questions about whether there is a right-to-die, the roles of family and physicians, and how the constitutional right to privacy is involved in end-of-life decisions.

7-9 Sessions 14-30+ Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)


RADIO DAYS

Radio Days and the FCC: Breaking up Broadcast Monopoly

The Federal Communications Commission is holding hearings on what to do about the perceived monopoly power that the major radio networks – NBC and CBS – exercise over their affiliated stations. Game sessions involve witnesses taking testimony on a series of six questions before the Commission and culminates in a final, decisive vote that will decide the future of the radio industry.

5-13 Sessions 10-28 Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (What's this Mean?)



TITLE IX

Changing the Game: Title IX, Gender, and College Athletics

A debate over the role of athletics quickly expands to encompass demands that women’s sports and athletes receive more resources and opportunities. The result is a firestorm of controversy on and off campus. Students wrestle with questions of gender parity and the place of athletics in higher education.

7-10 Sessions 10-40+ Students 20th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)


VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL

Monuments and Memory-Making: The Debate over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1981-1982

When the Vietnam War drew to a close, the process of memorializing the conflict resulted in a tug-of-war over the national narrative of the 20+ year struggle. Students will take part in the conversations and controversies that emerged as the nation grappled with how best to memorialize what was at the time the longest conflict in US history.

8-9 Sessions 10-35 Students 20th Century North America  Published Game (What's this Mean?)


WATERGATE

Watergate, 1973-1974

Students experience the unfolding of America’s most dramatic constitutional crisis of the 20th century: the investigation of the Watergate burglary and its subsequent cover-up. With the world’s most powerful person barricading himself within the walls of the White House and threatening to take the constitutional order itself hostage to ensure his political survival, how could well-intentioned leaders pursue truth and justice without risking collateral damage to the nation’s foundational principles and institutions?

9 Sessions 12-30 Students 20th Century North America Published Game (What's this Mean?)



YALTA CONFERENCE

Restoring the World, 1945: Security and Empire at Yalta

The devastation of the Second World War is coming to an end. As victory for the Grand Alliance draws close, the leaders of Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States gather at Yalta for the most important summit meeting of the war. But will differences in their ideologies prevent them from forging a lasting peace?

7-10 Sessions 12-30 Students 20th Century Europe, International Published Game (What's this Mean?)


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