Ryan Pickering – 2015 Winter Fellow

From the ‘better late than never files’, I’m pleased to report that Ryan Pickering has finished up his semester as a digital history research fellow! Ryan’s interest followed on from his participation in HIST3812a, Video Games and Simulations for Historians (Ryan’s final project there was an immersive exploration of the Vimy Ridge battlefield, via Minecraft). In anticipation of holding an ‘unconference’ on Minecraft for Historians in the Fall of 2015, Ryan’s task was to figure out and plan such a beast:

Welcome to the first blog post of my research fellowship with Dr. Graham! This week, a simple task. Dr. Graham asked me to take a look online at what other educators in high schools were doing with Minecraft in terms of history. I needed to figure out what history teachers were doing, what they were trying to do, and what they needed. What I found was surprisingly in-depth and good history for the most part! There were some very interesting usages of the tools in Minecraft, in MinecraftEDU especially, and in looking at the actual gameplay of Minecraft, there were some unorthodox approaches which surprised me and were surprisingly effective.

Read more of Ryan’s work (including an interview with one of the proponents of ‘HullCraft’) on his research blog: http://ryanpickering.github.io/researchfellowship2015/

Finally, Ryan also used what he learned during his fellowship to put together an *excellent* final project in HIST3907b, Data Mining and Visualization for Historians. You can explore ‘Searching for Residential Schools’, a study of historical-consciousness via Google search trends, here.

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