Red Dead Redemption and its sequel are being used to teach a University of Tennessee class on American history.
In the tweet thread below, history professor Tore Olsson explains that he’ll be using both Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 as jumping-off points to explore American history between 1899 and 1911. The course itself is called “HIUS 383: Red Dead America,” and explores colonialism, capitalism, racism, and more throughout the 12-odd years.
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/wkaHSvz4E4February 11, 2021
It’s important to remember that Olsson is merely used Rockstar’s games as a beginning point to discuss the period in American history. This is mainly because, in the tweet thread above, Olsson notes that both Rockstar games are “often historically inaccurate,” but can be used to inform and begin greater discussions around the historical period.
Note that you don’t have to own a PC or console to take part in Olsson’s course at the University of Tennessee, although the professor does assume that the majority of students in attendance will be familiar with both Rockstar games. Additionally, Olsson hopes that this unorthodox approach of using video games to begin historical analysis will attract students who wouldn’t ordinarily attend a history course.
The course itself begins in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee this coming August. As for the rest of us, we’ll just have to hope that Olsson ends up releasing some of the teaching material he uses online for us to examine from afar.
In news more closely related to Rockstar’s sequel, dataminers working on Red Dead Redemption 2 think they’ve found files that could be related to the unannounced GTA 6. After stumbling on files relating to parachuting, the dataminers think the unused items could be related to Rockstar’s next project, rather than the historical game.
If you’re still playing through Rockstar’s historical sequel, head over to our guide on How to get Red Dead Redemption 2 perfect pelts to maximize your hunting profits.
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