Society & Culture

UGA hosts national Reacting to the Past Game Development Conference

reacting to the past
Caroline McArthur

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will host a national conference for college faculty, administrators and graduate students that focuses on designing games as an educational tool for undergraduate students.

The Reacting to the Past Game Development Conference, hosted by UGA’s Reacting to the Past Program and the Center for Teaching and Learning, will take place July 15-18 in the Miller Learning Center.

Conference participants will play several Reacting-style games that are in development, discuss game design principles and processes and work to expand and explore ideas for new games. The games for this year’s conference are:
• The American Artists’ Congress (1935-1940).
• The July Crisis, 1914.
• Mastering Mind and Machine: Alan Turing and the Quest for Artificial Intelligence.
• Guerrilla Girls in Our Midst, 1984-1987.
• Love Canal: Conflict in Environmental Activism.
• A “Virtuous Woman?”: The Abolition of Sati, India 1829.

Newbie Day, a one-day pre-conference workshop for newcomers that serves as an introduction to Reacting to the Past pedagogy, will feature “The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law and Intolerance in Puritan New England.”

Reacting to the Past consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. Reacting to the Past seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills.

Pioneered in the late 1990s by Mark C. Carnes, professor of history at Barnard College, the Reacting to the Past curriculum has been implemented by faculty at hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad since dissemination began in 2001. Reacting to the Past has been at UGA since 2003.

More information and registration for the conference may be found at For information on the Reacting to the Past Program at UGA, see