RockStar Games Red Dead Redemption is being used to teach American history at University Of Tennessee. Students at the University of Tennessee Knoxville can take an American history course revolving around the wild west open world game this upcoming fall.
Looks like Red Dead Redemption is not just a video game, but a franchise that teaches the history of America, now one university professor is recognizing that by making Red Dead Redemption the subject of an American history course at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
In recent years, video games have become more prominent in educational practices, usually in the form of specially designed experiences with the sole purpose of helping the player learn reading, math, and other classroom-taught skills.
Making a financially successful title often requires creating a totally immersive experience and to achieve this some developers have turned to the strategy of making their games as historically accurate as possible. Rockstar used this mentality for its Red Dead Redemption franchise and the work has caught the eye of one university professor who intends to use the western series as the focus for his upcoming course.
University of Tennessee Knoxville Professor Tore Olsson took to Twitter to advertise an upcoming course that he will be teaching this fall called “HIUS 383: Red Dead America.” The course will center around Rockstar’s western franchise and much of the historical context seen throughout the series during the years of 1899 and 1911. At the time of this writing, the class only has 35 seats, but Olsson may expand the size if there is a long waitlist.
Who says video games don’t belong in the classroom? I’m a history professor at @UTKnoxville. This fall, I’ll be teaching a new course titled “HIUS 383: Red Dead America,” exploring the historical reality behind @RockstarGames’ series. What kinds of topics will we be exploring? /1 pic.twitter.com/wkaHSvz4E4
— Tore Olsson (@ToreCarlOlsson) February 11, 2021
But hey, Red Dead Redemption is not the only AAA franchise in recent years to put an emphasis on historical accuracy even when telling fictitious stories. Ubisoft has always put a lot of effort into making its Assassin’s Creed games historically accurate, going all the way back to the first entry in the series. In Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, however, Ubisoft included a discovery tour mode, which is a enormously educational experience about ancient Egypt and ancient Greece respectively.