A Little Too Real, Inc.
About This Episode
What do Civilization 5, DayZ, SimCity, and Doomsday Preppers have in common? Realism. This week, we come together to talk about realism in gaming, as well as offer a few business properties.
These days, the podcast, which is produced by the HowStuffWorks edutainment network, consistently garners over 3 million downloads per month and sits comfortably around number 11 on the iTunes charts. At a time when historians are becoming ever more serious about finding ways to engage with the public, what secret formula are hosts Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey using to keep audience coming back each week for a history lesson? The answer is simple: they tell good stories.
As educational video games intended for children go, MECC’s The Oregon Trail is already bleak in its depiction of life in 19th century pioneer life in America. After all, this was the software that made a pop culture byword out of “You have died of dysentery.” But even The Oregon Trail had to sugarcoat things a little for elementary school students. MECC kept in the buffalo-shooting, river-fording, and bead-trading, but the company left out the whiskey, the wild parties, the cross-dressing, and the children crushed beneath wagon wheels. Fortunately, for the now-grown Oregon Trail fans of the world, Vox presents its own R-rated Oregon Trail for an adult audience hardened by years of violent cable TV shows and internet pornography.
TIS-100 is an open-ended programming game by Zachtronics, the creators of SpaceChem and Infinifactory, in which you rewrite corrupted code segments to repair the TIS-100 and unlock its secrets.
Like most city lovers of a certain age, I spent many hours as a kid playing SimCity. For readers who are tragically uninitiated, SimCity is one of the iconic computer games of the 1990s, though newer versions have been released as recently as 2013. Playing as mayor (or, really, dictator, but more on that later), you shepherd the growth of a city from its very first streets to towering skyscrapers—assuming you aren’t wiped out by tornados, fires, or aliens.
Is the struggle of this world merely a pleasant game for you? Do you long for a more brutal take on a life lived post apocalypse? If you answered “Yes and yes!”, then Survival difficulty is for you!
A 225 km2 open world post-soviet state and one of the areas hit by a new and presently unknown infection which has wiped out most of the world’s population. You are one of the few who have survived and now you must search this new wasteland in order to fight for your life against what is left of the indigenous population, now infected with the disease.
Welcome to the world of Banished! In this city-building strategy game, you control a group of exiled travelers who decide to restart their lives in a new land. They have only the clothes on their backs and a cart filled with supplies from their homeland.
Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And this season, forget expensive, elaborate bunkers and builds–we’re going back to the basics.
New York is in trouble. A devastating epidemic sweeps through the city and in the wake of the disease basic services fail one by one. Without food and water, the streets are in chaos and new factions rise to profit from the mayhem. Amid the chaos, a classified unit of self-supported sleeper agents known as The Division is activated and tasked with one mission: take back New York.
Rome Reborn is an international initiative whose goal is the creation of 3D digital models illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome from the first settlement in the late Bronze Age (ca. 1000 B.C.) to the depopulation of the city in the early Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 550).
We return to the topic of gaming in the classroom, discuss Robert’s use of Minecraft in recreating Denver, and talk about using alternative mediums for students to approach the past.
A good disaster story never fails to fascinate — and, given that it actually happened, the story of Pompeii especially so. Buried and thus frozen in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the ancient Roman town of 11,000 has provided an object of great historical interest ever since its rediscovery in 1599. Baths, houses, tools and other possessions (including plenty of wine bottles), frescoes, graffiti, an ampitheater, an aqueduct, the “Villa of the Mysteries“: Pompeii has it all, as far as the stuff of first-century Roman life goes.
Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully untethered, holographic computer, enabling you to interact with high‑definition holograms in your world.
Rift is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Whether you’re stepping into your favorite game, watching an immersive VR movie, jumping to a destination on the other side of the world, or just spending time with friends in VR, you’ll feel like you’re really there.