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  • February 16, 2024 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    Submissions are now open for this year's Reacting awards! Read on to learn more about these fantastic initiatives and how you can apply for them or nominate a deserving colleague.

    Brilliancy Prize

    The Brilliancy Prize seeks to recognize and publicize extraordinary creativity within the Reacting enterprise. Instituted in 2019, it’s presented to a particularly ingenious or creative idea or pedagogical practice that advances Reacting games, and comes with a $1,000 award, presented each year at the Annual Institute at Barnard College.   We would like to present the award at the Summer Institute at Barnard (June 6-9).

    You can read more about the Brilliancy Prize and learn about past winners here, and if you want to apply, please send a letter of nomination (for yourself or someone else!) of no more than a three pages detailed description of the innovation being nominated and a rationale for why it is deserving of the award, along with any supporting materials, to current chair of the Brilliancy Prize Award Committee, Mary Jane Treacy at  maryjane.treacy@simmons.edu by 3/31/2024.

    Dana Gorlin Johnson Fellowship

     The Dana Gorlin Johnson Fellowship is named in memory of Dana Johnson Gorlin, the founding administrator of the Reacting to the Past program. Without her work from 2002–while still an undergraduate student at Barnard–until 2014, the Reacting Consortium would not exist. You can read more about Dana here, as well as learn about past winners.

    This fellowship is  awarded to a deserving faculty member, especially from a community college or public university, who best exemplifies Dana’s exceptional qualities of character and mind and who gives high promise of advancing Reacting. To apply or nominate someone for this award, please submit a two-page statement outlining the applicant's/nominee's previous experience with Reacting to the Past, as well as their potential for advancing the program, to Lucy Barnhouse at lbarnhouse@astate.edu by 3/31/2024.

    Decisions will be made in late March and announced in April so award winners have time to plan to attend the Annual Institute on June 6-9!

  • November 08, 2023 12:02 PM | Anonymous

    A fresh crop of Reacting game materials have arrived just in time for finals!

    We'll update this page as we get new files, check back later to stay up to date on the latest games and materials from the Reacting community.

    Updated Games:

    Rage Against the Machine: Technology, Rebellion, and the Industrial Revolution

    Updated Gamebook, Role Sheets, Instructor's Manual, and Handouts.

    The Jumonville Incident

    Updated Gamebook, Role Sheets, Instructor's Manual, and Handouts.

    Chicago, 1968

    New Nametags for Roles

    Kansas, 1999: Evolution or Creationism

    Updated GB, IM, RS. Includes new link fixes, bribe mechanic, and focus on phonics.

    Climate Change in Copenhagen

    Powerpoints for introduction to issues and debriefing.

    Community-Sourced Materials:

    London 1854: Cesspits, Cholera, and Conflict over the Broad Street Pump London 1854: Cesspits, Cholera, and Conflict over the Broad Street Pump

    Reformatted roles for improved classroom play.

    Art In Paris: The Femme Pack

    Includes roles that emphasize female artists and their ideas.

    The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Immigrant Pack

    Includes indeterminate immigrant roles to expand discussion and fit larger classes.

  • October 15, 2023 5:09 PM | Anonymous

    The REB invites nominations and applications for positions on the Reacting Editorial Board.

    The Reacting Editorial Board has three primary tasks:

    · Working with authors, RC staff and UNC Press to move games from idea to published game.

    · Establishing standards and expectations for traditional Reacting games (‘long-games’) and short games.

    · Ensuring that Reacting to the Past games offer the best possible experience for students, faculty and staff.

    REB members serve three-year renewable terms. Responsibilities include:

    · Quarterly meetings (by zoom in spring, fall and winter, in person or zoom at the Annual Institute).

    · Reviewing 2-4 game proposals per year (and reading review summaries of other game proposals).

    · Participate in E-mail discussion at various times throughout the year.

    · Other tasks as emerge during the year (represent the REB at a regional conference or the GDC, serve on temporary task forces, etc.)

    To apply (or to nominate someone), please send a CV (short version is fine) and a letter of interest including your experience with Reacting to Kelly McFall at mcfallk@newmanu.edu. Experience with writing a Reacting game can be helpful in serving on the REB. But it is NOT required.

    We will consider all applicants carefully. But we are especially interested in receiving applications from community members with experience in copywrite/permissions questions.

    The Deadline for applications is 15 December. We’ll review the applications at our January meeting and notify applicants shortly after that meeting.

  • October 03, 2023 3:52 PM | Anonymous

    In case you missed it, UNC Press has begun publishing three new gamebooks for classroom use! Three newly published games and a are now available to order through the UNC Press website, with another on the way!

    Reacting to the Past - UNC Press

    These books are available in print and we hope to see them available in e-book format soon! Here's an overview of our newly published games which you can download the Instructor Manuals for today!

    Augsburg, 1530
    By: Emily Fisher Gray

    Wrestling with the Reformation

    As a member of the City Council of Augsburg in 1530, you will have to balance the competing demands of the citizens and the Emperor, while considering the implications of various Reformed positions for the city’s military defense, economic growth, and spiritual purity. Should you adopt the Augsburg Confession, a statement of principles presented during the 1530 Augsburg Reichstag by Martin Luther’s colleagues from Wittenberg? Or join the four “Tetrapolitan” cities that offered an alternate vision of reform influenced by Ulrich Zwingli? Or perhaps you should you support the Confutatio Pontificia, the strong rebuttal to the Augsburg Confession written by representatives of the Pope in Rome and endorsed by the Emperor? Decisions about religious practices in Augsburg could provoke a riot from reform-minded citizens or cause Emperor Charles V to make good on his promise to invade the city and revoke its independent charter. In this volatile environment, Augsburg needs allies, but alliances are dependent on the type of reform Augsburg chooses. As does Augsburg’s ability to feed its poor, protect its rapid proto-capitalist economic growth, and deal with the problem of Anabaptists infiltrating the community. The salvation of souls and Augsburg’s very survival are at stake.

    View Augsburg, 1530

    The Prado Museum's Expansion: The Diverse Art of Latin America
    By: Bridget Franco

    Murals, politics, race, Cubism, street art – and more! Join curators, art dealers, artists and patrons for a night of Latin American Art at the Prado Museum.

    With an eye to diversifying its predominantly national Spanish-centered collection, the Prado Museum decides to curate a new gallery of Latin American paintings from the twentieth and early twenty-first century. What makes the art of Latin America unique? Which artists are considered representative of Latin American Art? What is the place of Latin American Art in the global art world today? To help answer these questions, the Prado Museum administration has set into motion a series of negotiation sessions to determine which paintings will be chosen for the new gallery. Artists and art dealers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay have arrived in Madrid to advocate for their paintings' stylistic and historical importance. The Prado game provides a diachronic introduction to the diverse styles and movements (Cubism, Constructivism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Mexican Muralism, Indigenismo, Abstract Expressionism, Hyperrealism, Chicano Art, Street Art, and Naïf Art) that have influenced our understanding of Latin America art from the early 1900s to the new millennium. Taking on the roles of museum curators, docents, marketing directors, Patrons of the Arts, private art collectors, artists, and art dealers, players will learn how to identify the formal elements of Latin American painting and immerse themselves in the complex dynamics of the international art world.

    View The Prado Museum Expansion: The Diverse Art of Latin America

    The Crisis of Catiline
    By: Bret Mulligan

    It is the year when Marcus Tullius Cicero and Gaius Antonius Hybrida are consuls. Will the Republic live to see another?

    Rome, 63 BC: a tumultuous year of urban and rural unrest, economic instability, sensational trials, and electoral misconduct. You are a Roman senator. Can you save the Republic…and yourself? At the center of the crisis stands Lucius Sergius Catilina or Catiline, a charismatic (and scandal-plagued) nobleman. Last year Catiline lost an election for the consulship, the highest office in Rome, to Marcus Tullius Cicero, a brilliant orator, canny politician, and “new man” (novus homo) — the first member of his family to reach the pinnacle of Roman politics. Now that Catiline has failed to be elected consul for a third time, rumors swirl that he and his followers plot assassinations and arson in Rome, while raising an army in the north. Are the rumors true — is Catiline conspiring to lead a revolution? Or have Catiline’s enemies conspired to thwart desperately needed social and economic reforms by slandering Catiline and his followers?

    View Crisis of Catiline

    Watergate, 1973-1974
    By: John Parrish

    "But if there be no accountability, another President will feel free to do as he chooses. The next time there may be no watchman in the night.” -House Judiciary Committee member James Mann, 1974

    In Watergate, 1973-74, students experience the unfolding of America’s most dramatic constitutional crisis of the 20th century: the investigation of the Watergate burglary and its subsequent cover-up. Beginning in July 1973, as the point where the scandal’s main facts had finally been made public, students will portray members of Congress, the news media, and the Nixon Administration as they struggle to cope with the emerging crisis. The key to resolving the crisis are the president’s secret White House tapes – Nixon invoked questions of high constitutional principle to withhold access to the tapes from the special prosecutor and Congress – but many of his critics suspected he was merely trying to conceal evidence of his guilt. With the world’s most powerful person barricading himself within the walls of the White House and threatening to take the constitutional order itself hostage to ensure his political survival, how could well-intentioned leaders pursue truth and justice without risking collateral damage to the nation’s foundational principles and institutions? Watergate gives students the chance to understand the importance of evidence and disciplined verification in resolving conflicts of belief and value, and to wrestle with the often-frustrating complexity of using such processes to decide, under conditions of profound uncertainty, some of the most consequential questions of a nation’s political life.

    View Watergate, 1973

    *To help facilitate this transition, we are leaving the GUR versions of these games on the Reacting Consortium library until the end of the semester. Please plan accordingly!

  • October 02, 2023 9:48 AM | Anonymous

    Over the past two months, the Reacting Consortium has had the privilege of hosting two remarkable virtual events that introduced innovative practices aimed at enhancing the accessibility and safety features of our games!

    Jamie Lerner-Brecher's presentation on Universal Design and Allen White's presentation on adding Safety Tools have served as valuable resources in our ongoing efforts to make Reacting games as inclusive as possible.

    Although these presentations were originally delivered live via Zoom, we are excited to announce that edited recordings are now available for purchase, with an exclusive discount offered to Reacting Consortium members!

    By making these recordings available, we aim to promote continuous learning and improvement within the Reacting Consortium community. We are committed to supporting the development of games that are not only engaging but also foster inclusivity and safety.

    To access these recordings and explore our library of past events and tutorials, please visit our Event Recordings page. We look forward to continuing this journey towards creating more accessible and secure gaming experiences for all! If you have any suggestions for how we can make Reacting more inclusive please contact us at reacting@barnard.edu we would love to hear from you!

  • September 19, 2023 6:22 PM | Maddie Provo (Administrator)

    The Reacting Consortium Board is calling for Applications to recruit individuals to fill up to four positions on the Board. New Board members will be selected at the March 2024 meeting of the Board.

    Responsibilities of Reacting Consortium Board Members include:

    • Be a member of the Reacting to the Past Consortium

    • Regularly attend and participate in all board and assigned committee meetings 

    • Serve on at least one RCB committee and offer to take on special assignments 

    • Stay informed about the organization’s mission, services, policies, and programs 

    • Work with Reacting staff to achieve organizational goals

    • Donate to the Consortium at a level comfortable to the individual Board Member

    This year, the Reacting Consortium Board is particularly interested in candidates with the following skill sets:

    1. Creating and executing initiatives to add to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at academic institutions. 

    2. Grant writing, development, and other methods of fundraising for academic and non-profit organizations. 

    3. Creating and executing public history and/or digital humanities projects including exhibitions and programming in museums and other public-facing settings.

    The Reacting Consortium benefits immensely from a Board membership with a diversity of personal identities, educational institutional affiliation, and experience with game design and gameplay. Nominations are not limited to faculty at post-secondary education institutions. We particularly welcome secondary education instructors . We encourage applicants to describe how they would contribute to and foster the Board’s diversity. 

    Members should plan to attend the Annual Institute at Barnard College (planned yearly for early June) for board meetings as well as to participate in quarterly conference calls for the entire Board and smaller electronic committee meetings that will vary each year. Members-elect are welcome to observe the board meetings during the Annual Institute before their term begins in July.

    Required Application Materials due by December 15th, 2023:

    • A 1-2 page letter describing your credentials (keeping in mind the list above) and reason for interest in joining the Board. 

    • A brief 1-2 page CV.

    Please submit application materials and any questions to the Chair of the Governance & Nominations Committee, Ethan Besser Fredrick, at Efredricke@gmail.com

  • August 21, 2023 3:24 PM | Anonymous

    We are excited to report on the progress of the RTTP High School Initiative! In June, during the RTTP Annual Institute in New York, over thirty institute attendees convened to discuss actionable steps for integrating the RTTP pedagogy into the high school curriculum while maintaining the integrity of the games. Click here for the full meeting notes.

    One step we took was to set up a shared google folder. We will use this folder as a "sandbox" of sorts where we will "play" with various iterations of teacher-generated resources. Our aim is to facilitate the adaptation and use of RTTP games and the associated pedagogies, while creating a collaborative community. Interested instructors can complete this form to request access to the shared folder.

    Another step that we are taking now is to invite all interested teachers to a monthly Zoom during which we will be able to make important connections and discuss pertinent issues. The first zoom meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 14th at 7 pm EST. With the exception of December when we will meet on the first Thursday (December 7), subsequent meetings will be on the second Thursday of the month at 7 pm EST.

    You can register in advance for the first meeting on September 14th using this link.

    We are also pleased to announce that Grand Valley State University is working on a grant to host a high school specific RTTP conference in Fall 2024 on their campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We will keep you posted as we learn more about this conference. In the meantime, the RTTP Consortium would like to offer some online programming similar to the Winter Conference targeted at high school teachers. They would run a game or two but would need experienced HS instructors to facilitate. We will discuss this proposal during our monthly Zoom meeting and on the RTTP High School Discord channel.

    A huge thank you to everyone in the community who has offered support for the RTTP High School Initiative! We look forward to growing this community!

  • July 25, 2023 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    With the Fall semester fast approaching it's important to remember that our website hosts a variety of resources for instructors and game authors. Two new resources have been added to help Reacting members adapt to changes in the classroom and publishing.


    Wider adoption of large language models by students has made it difficult for instructors to ensure that their students are doing work and developing skills. In addition to learning how to detect the use of AI by students, this document aims to help instructors incorporate it and restructure assignments to prevent its use.

    RTTP Instructor AI Advice
    By: Reacting AI Working Group


    Game authors will inevitably use copyrighted materials for their games. Whether it's a core text, translation, or illustration it's important to understand copyright and permissions. Jace Weaver, the RTTP Publications Liaison, has developed a tipsheet and has resources to help soon-to-be-published game authors manage permissions in their games.

    Copyright and Permissions Tipsheet
    By: Jace Weaver

    You can learn more about Copyright and Permissions here.


    We have more resources on the way that we can't wait to release! Stay tuned for materials designed to increase accessibility and promote safe gameplay.


    All of our materials for instructors and game authors can be found on our Resources page.

  • June 28, 2023 5:42 PM | Anonymous

    The summer is heating up and our wonderful game authors have been hard at work creating and updating game materials! Here are the latest files that you can use today!

    We'll update this page as we get new files, check back later to stay up to date on the latest games and materials from the Reacting community.

    New Files:

    Game of Sages

    New Level 3 Game!

    From the authors: This game takes place at the end of the Warring States period in China, at a time when Qin state has already absorbed two of the previously existent seven states, and is threatening the remaining four states of Chu, Qi, Zhao and Yan. The simulation is structured as a debate amongst the four most influential philosophical legacies of the Warring States era: Confucianism, Naturalism, Legalism, and Mohists.

    Grandsons of Genghis: The Mongol Kurultai of 1241

    New Level 3 Game!

    From the author: This game brings together the rival members of the Mongol royal family and representatives from across Eurasia to debate the legacy of Genghis Khan, appoint a successor to the Mongol throne, promote interreligious dialogue between Islam, Buddhism and Christianity, and plot where the vast Mongol Empire should expand next.

    The Investiture Controversy: Church and State on the Road to Canossa, 1075-77

    Pope Gregory VII (r. 1073-1085), riding high on reformist spirit, has progressively sought to expand the temporal power of the papacy and to bring the Western Church into stricter obedience to Rome. In the spring of 1075, Gregory issued the papal bull Dictatus papae, boldly claiming that the pope, and only the pope, had the power to depose both bishops and secular rulers—even emperors. When Emperor Henry IV (r.1056-1105) invested his chaplain Theobald with the episcopacy of Milan later that year, Gregory responded by excommunicating five of Henry’s advisors despite imperial investiture being a time-honored tradition. Tempers flared and a series of strongly worded public letters flew between the two men, bringing Western Christendom to a crisis point where it had to decide who held ultimate authority, St. Peter’s representative on Earth or God’s divinely anointed secular ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Christine de Pizan and the Querelle des Femmes, 1413

    Christine de Pizan and the Querelle des Femmes examines the power, authority, and roles of women in the 1413 French court. Debates over misogyny in literature, legal theory, and political roles demonstrate the centrality of both women and gender to major issues in late medieval France. Two noble factions, the Armagnacs and Burgundians, negotiate the power vacuum left by the extended illness of King Charles VII, while two factions of authors, the Humanists and the Profeminines, publicly debate misogyny in legal theory and literature—Salic Law and the Romance of the Rose. Authors seek patronage from the nobles, while nobles seek the authors’ support—and to use authors’ skills to promote their own positions. The game is set during a peaceful interlude in the Hundred Years War, and an opening phase of the French civil war managed by Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. Meanwhile, Christine de Pizan, an influential author at the French court, engaged in debates about misogyny, morality, and the capabilities of women, and wrote a long defense of women in The Book of the City of Ladies, showing women’s abilities, power. Christine puts women and gender as issues at the center of game debates, and includes important female characters as roles. It has resonances for continuing debates about representations of women in art and political participation.

    Ban the Jesuits: Jesuits and Their Opponents in the 1700s

    New Microgame!

    From the author: Jesuits, Royal Ambassadors, Archbishops, and members of the Crowd have gathered in Rome to decide the fate of the Jesuits. If they are banned, further decisions must be made about what happens to individual Jesuits and the Jesuit schools and property.

    Evolution in Kansas, 1999

    Updated Role Sheets, Instructor's Manual, and Handouts.

    Diet and Killer Diseases

    Updated Role Sheets, Instructor's Manual, and Handouts.

    Climate Change in Copenhagen

    Updated Role Sheets, Instructor's Manual, and Handouts.

    Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776

    Added Full Game's Role Sheets, Instructor's Manual, and Handouts.

    Modernism Versus Traditionalism: Art in Paris, 1888-89

    Added Dr. Mary Frances Zawadzki's "Femme Pack" with eight additional roles designed to add more female representation into the game.

    Roman Prisoner Dilemma

    (Formerly known as Egyptian Prison Game) - Updated files to meet new short game standards - June 2023

  • March 22, 2023 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    In case you missed it, this Spring UNC Press published three gamebooks for classroom use. Two newly published games and a second edition of a classic are now available to order through the UNC Press website: 

    Reacting to the Past - UNC Press

    These books are available in print and e-book formats and we are excited to see them in the hands of students and instructors! Here's an overview of our newly published games which you can download the Instructor Manuals for today!

    Greenwich Village Second Edition
    By: Mary Jane Treacy

    A New Century, A New America?

    This game takes students to the beginning of the modern era when urbanization, industrialization, and massive waves of immigration were transforming the U.S. way of life. Suffragists are taking to the streets demanding the vote. What, they ask, is women’s place in society? Are they to remain in the home or take an active role in the political life of the nation? Labor has turned to the strike to demand living wages and better conditions; some are even proposing an industrial democracy where workers take charge of industries. Can capitalism foster an economically just society or must it be reformed, or even overturned? Members of these groups converge in Greenwich Village to debate their views with bohemians who seek personal transformations to create the new men and women of the twentieth century. The game asks which social changes are most needed, the ideals they espouse, and the best ways to realize their goals.  

    View Greenwich Village Second Edition

    Monuments and Memory-Making: The Debate Over the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, 1981-1982
    By: Rebecca Livingstone, Kelly McFall, and Abigail Perkiss

    How do we remember a lost war?

    When the Vietnam War drew to a close, the process of memorializing the conflict resulted in a tug-of-war over the national narrative of the 20+ year struggle. In the wake of devastating loss and in the midst of the continuing and ever-evolving Cold War, conflicting voices emerged in the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Such physical spaces offer insights into how the creators of those spaces constructed the past, how they intended for audiences to do the same, and how those meanings can be challenged. In this game, students will take part in the conversations and controversies that emerged as the nation grappled with how best to memorialize what was at the time the longest conflict in US history. As they engage in the very process of memory-making, they will work to reconcile the varied and often conflicting voices that emerged after the fall of Saigon. How do we create a national memory of the past? How do we move on from a lost war? How do we remember the dead, while honoring the living? How do we reunite a fractured nation? Who speaks to that nation, and who speaks for it? How does public opinion and public consciousness shape our understanding of the past? Whose voices matter?

    View Monuments and Memory-Making

    Democracy in Crisis: Weimar Germany, 1929-1932
    By: Robert Goodrich

    What happens when partisan ideology trumps compromise in a polarized Democracy?

    At one moment in history all of the great ideologies of the modern West collide as roughly equal and viable contenders: Germany during the so-called Weimar Republic.  Liberalism, nationalism, conservatism, social democracy, Christian democracy, communism, fascism, and every variant of these movements contend for power in Germany. Though the constitutional framework boldly enshrines liberal democratic values, the political spectrum is so broad and fully represented that a stable parliamentary majority requires constant compromises – compromises that alienate supporters, opening the door to radical alternatives.

    As delegates of the Reichstag, players must contend with street fights, trade union strikes, assassinations, and insurrections, along with intense parliamentary wrangling. The game begins in late 1929, just after the US stock market crash, as the German Reichstag deliberates on the Young Plan (a revision to the reparations plan from the Treaty of Versailles). They address these matters and more as the pressures of economic stress, political gridlock, and foreign demands mount. 

    View Democracy in Crisis

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