HomeGaming WorldRed Dead Redemption Will Be Used To Teach American History In UTK

Red Dead Redemption Will Be Used To Teach American History In UTK

Rockstar Games is well-known for the GTA series, but that doesn’t mean we can underestimate the fan base of the Red Dead Redemption series. The games are happening in the 1880-1910 era, and you can learn something about that era while playing them. A history professor from the University of Tennessee, Tore Olsson, announced that he will teach American history from the Red Dead Redemption series.

Of course, the games that tell stories from history can be quite inaccurate. Especially, the Red Dead Redemption games contain lots of sarcasm or fictional stories, but the game does tell us American history. And according to Tore Olsson, it’s enough to teach some subjects from the game.

Olsson made that announcement from Twitter. He also found a very appropriate name for that course: HIUS 383: Red Dead America.

Olsson addressed that the game might be historically inaccurate, but he added that the games skillfully broach a number of crucial historical issues in the 1899-1911 period.

red dead redemption

The Syllabus of HIUS 383: Red Dead America

Besides the announcement of the course, Olsson shared the syllabus for his future students.

  • The frontier mythology and its long afterlife
  • The expansion of monopoly capitalism and how railroads extended corporate power
  • The astounding inequalities in wealth that became obvious during the Gilded Age
  • Settler colonialism and the dispossession of Native peoples
  • The making of Jim Crow racial violence in the South
  • The Mexican Revolution and its transnational impacts
  • The memory of the Civil War and the making of the Lost Cause myth
  • Women’s suffrage and its opponents
  • American empire and the expansions of 1898
  • The cosmopolitanism of the American population, including Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and German immigrants, among others
  • Stereotypes of Appalachian degeneracy and poverty alongside the reality of corporate extraction and dispossession
  • The privatization of law enforcement via the Pinkerton Detective Agency

Also, Olsson stated that he will generally talk about some of the biggest historical dilemmas of the era in a nutshell.

If you are interested in American history and want to join that course, we have bad news for you. Unfortunately, the course will only be available for the students of the University of Tennessee. But, Olsson said that he will try his luck to share it online.

I think learning and teaching from a video game is a big deal. No matter if you’re interested in history or not, if you play a video game that tells you a story from historical facts, you will probably never forget it. Because video games are doing much more than telling the story, they make you witness the history itself. And obviously, Olsson knows that fact, and he literally will teach historical events behind a video game series. I hope we will see many more examples like this in the future.

Umut Arı
Umut Arı
gaming / hiphop enthusiast


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