Basic Training


From a young age, I was always curious and ready to look deeper into any subject.

Even at a young age, I was eager to explore new frontiers and take a closer look at things.

I consider myself a life-long learner. I don’t know when it started, but it could’ve been when I decided to learn everything about each of my toy dinosaurs to more accurately play with them. Or maybe, it was a few years later when I challenged myself to read every book in the local library, starting with non-fiction (I never finished). Maybe it was the subscription to National Geographic my parents had for most of my childhood.

Whenever it was, it was before I got my first video games as a freshman in high school. Up to that point, my parents had not allowed me or my two younger sisters to play video games, and we were content to use our imagination, explore the acres of forest around out house, or shoot rubber bands at each other while running around the house.

The first history-based game I ever played was Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. I was enthralled by the strategy necessary to win, as well as the stories that accompanied each campaign. I wanted to learn more, so I paid close attention in my world history class, which was taught by an energetic and entertaining young teacher. My final project that year was a wooden castle on a three-by-three-foot piece of plywood, as well as a small working trebuchet.

Since then, I’ve done what I can to educate myself on the subject of history, which mostly involves reading, the Internet, and watching documentaries. A writer by trade, I believe that if I can link the past to the present through my words, I’m doing my best to prevent humanity from repeating previous failures. It’s a Herculean task, I know, but I like a challenge.

The cover art for Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.

The cover of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, one of the first games I played, and the first game analyzed on this blog.

This blog serves as a portal into the past, and I hope that everyone who reads even one post learns something.

I’ll work my way through each game, critiquing them on their historical benefit (and sometimes their entertainment value). I hope to show that this medium can be used to teach history, no matter the historical accuracy of the game in question. If it’s right, I’ll say it’s right, but if it’s wrong, I’ll be sure to explain why it’s wrong.

Of course, everything is history, and much of it has been lost, and much of what remains was written by the victors. So, to stick to the journalistic saying “if your mother tells you she loves you, check it out,” I’ll be doing my best to make sure everything I have is backed up by multiple sources, or at least trusted primary sources. If something false slips through, please tell me, and I’ll look into it.

Finally, if you have any ideas about games to play, things to write about, details I’ve missed, aspects I’ve overlooked, questions, or really, anything at all pertaining to the blog, let me know. You can contact me via my Facebook page, Twitter, or by emailing me at HistoryThroughGaming@yahoo.com.

Enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Basic Training”

  1. I Liked This Game a lot I am a boy from Turkey and I can understand you I liked history too epsulutly The WWII and I wannt to say sorry about my bad mistakes but I can Understand you my history likness is came to me when I was younger even this game playing from the kids in my class I like history games and war games but this game it was real I look at it from my internet Lighting the torches it was real and I think the other missions they are real too however thanks for your reading.

    • Hi Cem, don’t worry about your mistakes – I can understand you perfectly. WWII was both an interesting and terrible time for most of the world and it’s no coincidence that many games are based off of it.

      You’re right, Lighting the Torch is based off of the actions of the U.S. Army Rangers near Arzew, Algeria, prior to Operation Torch. The others have varying degrees of historical accuracy, but there’s at least some fact in all of them. If you haven’t checked out the other posts, you should, because I’ve learned a lot from researching this stuff.

      I’m hoping to start getting more new posts up soon, so I hope you check back once in a while. Or at least when I get to some games that involve Turkey.

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