“Like Hearing From Them in the Past”

Liz Owens Boltz
  • International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, October 2017, IGI Global
  • DOI: 10.4018/ijgcms.2017100101

What does historical empathy look like in videogame play?

What is it about?

Historical empathy involves both a recognition of the perspectives of others as well as affective engagement with the lived experiences of people in the past. This case study examines how historical empathy manifested during play of the videogame Valiant Hearts. Certain types of game play appeared to promote particular dimensions of historical empathy more effectively than others, and some dimensions tended to arise spontaneously while others seemed to require prompting.

Why is it important?

Historical empathy involves understanding the historical context, cultural norms, and beliefs that may have shaped the actions of people in the past, and also encourages awareness that different perspectives existed within past societies just as they do today. Historical empathy goes beyond memorization of declarative facts to support an understanding of how historical knowledge is constructed.

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The following have contributed to this page: Liz Owens Boltz