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View Full Version : History Classes should be more like Assassin's Creed



Byonchi
07-04-2011, 03:47 AM
I wish history class had focused more on individuals who were badass. There were tons, just read a Cracked.com article sometime, lol. But seriously, that would've made it way more interesting and engaging. I mean come on, who here hasn't learned a significant amount of new knowledge about Italy or the Crusade time period from AC? You've likely picked up a couple things http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You know, it just would've been better to learn about roman slavery through the eyes of Spartacus, or World War I from Alvin York's point of view. Hey, even make up characters like Altair if it helps!

Just a random thought bubble I had http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

SleezeRocker
07-04-2011, 06:54 AM
Too bad the world just can't afford Animi for every history class....and if so...I think we would have a bad present/future since we'd see thing that probalby we were taught weren't real :P

thekyle0
07-04-2011, 08:34 AM
who here hasn't learned a significant amount of new knowledge about Italy or the Crusade time period from AC? Nobody here has learned a significant amount just from playing the games. Sure, it may draw somebody in and make them want to learn more about the time period (I personally had read very little on the Italian Renaissance prior to the announcement of AC2), but as for providing any actual background in history, it is sorely lacking. This is especially when you consider that among that handful of actual facts in the game there are a slew of nonfactual events and database entries. Trying to discern them from each other would require extensive experience on the subject and time period, which, if you already have, what's left for the game to teach you?

You know, it just would've been better to learn about roman slavery through the eyes of Spartacus, or World War I from Alvin York's point of view. Hey, even make up characters like Altair if it helps! That's true, trying to put yourself in the shoes of famous or even ordinary individuals who lived in the past is one of the best ways to gain a valuable perspective and broaden your understanding. I know a couple history teachers who try to use that exact method in their classrooms. However, inventing fictional characters even for the sake of learning raises some serious questions in the morality of your teaching method. Manipulating students isn't the way for them to learn, if they aren't interested in history then maybe they shouldn't be in the classroom to begin with.

Chamboozer
07-04-2011, 12:13 PM
Except that learning about history through the eyes of exceptional individuals gives you an unbalanced and unrealistic view of the past. Spartacus' experience of slavery and revolt was not typical, so if you want to learn about Roman slavery you should avoid relying on his story rather than the opposite.

One style that I found particularly effective was done by author Roger Crowley, in his book about the conquest of Constatinople he based it off of many different perspectives; Mehmed II, Ottoman Janissaries, Italian auxiliaries, defending Greeks, Constantine XI, etc.

NuclearFuss
07-04-2011, 04:41 PM
That would be so bias towards the subject's perspective. Each side of a war thinks their reason is just. Watching it from one perspective would only show their view, which you'd likely adopt. The only sound way is watching an event from multiple perspectives of each side.

jez29
07-05-2011, 10:46 AM
All the above points are perfectly true - history shouldn't be taught like this at anything even approaching a mid/higher level of education, but there is something to be said for getting people interested in history in the first place through looking at the more 'exciting' bits. This should not compromise accuracy or scrutiny of the facts though.

xx-pyro
07-05-2011, 11:21 AM
I learned almost nothing from Assassins Creed that I didn't already know, however the games did increase my interest in the Renaissance so indirectly I suppose it helped me learn more.

As for AC1 and the Crusades, it was already one of my favourite time periods to study so I didn't really learn anything either way.

Kaxen6
07-05-2011, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by jez29:
All the above points are perfectly true - history shouldn't be taught like this at anything even approaching a mid/higher level of education, but there is something to be said for getting people interested in history in the first place through looking at the more 'exciting' bits. This should not compromise accuracy or scrutiny of the facts though.

I agree.



>_> Trivia is fun, but learning the whole big picture and different perspectives is important.

ThaWhistle
07-06-2011, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by Byonchi:
I wish history class had focused more on individuals who were badass. There were tons, just read a Cracked.com article sometime, lol. But seriously, that would've made it way more interesting and engaging. I mean come on, who here hasn't learned a significant amount of new knowledge about Italy or the Crusade time period from AC? You've likely picked up a couple things http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

You know, it just would've been better to learn about roman slavery through the eyes of Spartacus, or World War I from Alvin York's point of view. Hey, even make up characters like Altair if it helps!

Just a random thought bubble I had http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


lol... cracked.com.. history....

studying history through the eyes of a single person(or atleast how they would have seen it) is a terrible idea, you lose the bigger picture by seeing a very limited scope. For general history courses, like ones in high school and such, it serves everyone better to stick to general history so people now how things MOSTLY were, rather than how they were for one person.

Also, for the most part, the historical information in AC1 is incorrect, AC2 sticks to the core of hte Pazzi conspiracy, but unless you knew what was real, and not real before hand, it isn't possible ot tell from the game.

And even proper history books about exciting subjects, like the pazzi conspiracy, almost always become boring, by the nature of history as a subject.(The book im talking about is April Blood, which was written by a well respected historian in the field of the Italian Renaissance) Learning history is boring, if you arent nearly bored to tears by a book, the author is PROBABLY skewing things or not doing a very good job of describing things. I have seen this many times in history books and in peer reviews of them.

Oatkeeper
07-06-2011, 10:21 AM
Allow me to add a better alternative. use games/movies in/out the classroom to enable tangential learning (I hope I spelled that right) Get people interested in subject matter through fun, and they might try to learn more about it on their own.

Just look at how many people in these forums have gained knowledge of things past what is explained in AC. The Borgia Family, The Hashashin (which the assassins where based off of) Leonardo DaVinchi, The Crusades, Renaissance, The Medici, The Templars.

Hell, Revelations inst even out yet and many of us have already started research on the Ottomans and Istanbul/Constantinople. And Many of those people are spreading that knowledge to others through discussion threads.

In fact I have an old Extra Credits Vid Explaining it more in depth:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN0qRKjfX3s

For more episodes in the series check out The Escapist, there is usually an episode on the front page. (there is even a recent episode on how to use game like tactics to enrich education, since our current model is very out of date)

Turkiye96
07-06-2011, 01:03 PM
Alex Amancio ( i hope thats how you spell his name) said in an interview that the cities of assassin's creed 2 are actually used in some schools.

Chamboozer
07-06-2011, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by ThaWhistle:
Learning history is boring, if you arent nearly bored to tears by a book, the author is PROBABLY skewing things or not doing a very good job of describing things. I have seen this many times in history books and in peer reviews of them.

I wouldn't say that, at least to me history is more exciting than fiction ever could be simply because it's real. Believe it or not, some of us actually like reading about the details of administrative practices and economic policies. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

ThaWhistle
07-06-2011, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by Chamboozer:
I wouldn't say that, at least to me history is more exciting than fiction ever could be simply because it's real. Believe it or not, some of us actually like reading about the details of administrative practices and economic policies. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

*shudders* I always found that kind of stuff was easier to read when ya made it a drinking game. But thats what happens when its assigned, but I found even with stuff that you are interested in, after about 15 pages of the standards that guilds placed on brick production in Florence over a 30 year period made suicide look rather inviting.

jez29
07-07-2011, 02:59 AM
Originally posted by ThaWhistle:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Chamboozer:
I wouldn't say that, at least to me history is more exciting than fiction ever could be simply because it's real. Believe it or not, some of us actually like reading about the details of administrative practices and economic policies. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

*shudders* I always found that kind of stuff was easier to read when ya made it a drinking game. But thats what happens when its assigned, but I found even with stuff that you are interested in, after about 15 pages of the standards that guilds placed on brick production in Florence over a 30 year period made suicide look rather inviting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

To each his own, but speaking as someone who's just finished a degree in History I can assure you that the good stuff is out there. I was reading one theory textbook this year which essentially said that many historians who know their facts can't write in an engaging way, and those who can write end up fudging the facts for the sake of a good yarn.

So there is a lot of dross out there - it's not the case that every history book is sacred truth that you must respect and trust (and those you are assigned, particularly at school, can be the most boring things out there). There'll definitely be some good books out there about Renaissance Italy, but maybe you've gone a bit too niche if you're reading lots of details about brick production. Perhaps something broader might do the trick?

ThaWhistle
07-07-2011, 02:53 PM
I've found plenty of books about renaissance italy both on my own and assigned for classes (most of my history coursework was regarding renaissance italy and the middle ages). The crap about bricks was for a paper regarding new construction and architecture in the renaissance.

but generally speaking, in-depth history books are rarely page turners. Sometimes I'd think that the authors were trying to find non-medicinal alternatives to sleeping aids.

Chamboozer
07-07-2011, 03:09 PM
The most fascinating of history books are those written hundreds of years ago.

Machiavelli's "Il Principe" (1513) and Ibn Khaldun's "Muqaddimah" (1377) were two of the most interesting books i've ever read.