Module 5: Digital Storytelling and Games

Module 5 is intended to introduce you to the basics of digital storytelling and games, which encompasses everything from digital videos to podcasting to interactive text or graphic games. The readings will help you explore a variety of ways scholars have used the digital to tell historical stories or teaching historical lessons. The technical activities will introduce you to Twine, which is a platform for creating interactive stories (like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books).


1. Krijn H.J. Boom et al, “Using Video Games as a Platform to Teach about the Past,” in Communicating the Past in the Digital Age edited by Sebastian Hageneur (Ubiquity Press, 2020).

2. play a bit of the Oregon Trail on the Internet Archive

3. explore the free chapter(s) of Kate Heartfield, “The Road to Canterbury.”

4. listen to EITHER “Zooming Ahead: How Virtual Learning is Shaping the College Classroom,” BackStory, 2020 OR check out a recent episode of RRCHNM’s new podcast Consolation Prize.

5. watch the PA Labor History Society, “Homestead Strike of 1892

6. OPTIONAL: explore the prototype of “Pox and the City

7. OPTIONAL: read Megan Zahneis, “A Ph.D. Student Simulated a Day in the Life of a Covid-19 Era Campus. It Went Viral, But It Wasn’t Pretty.” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 1, 2020 (remember to use the VPN) and explore one of the Twine stories (undergraduate student | graduate studentfaculty member).

8. participate in the Slack discussion

Technical Activities

1. download/install or use the online version of Twine and complete the Twine tutorial

2. get together with 2-4 of your classmates to create an historical digital story and share it with the class via Slack for discussion

(Want more help with formatting your text? Check out the Twine guide and/or this Markdown cheat sheet).