Articles and Announcements

Upcoming Events

Log in

NEWS AND Announcements 

  • August 07, 2022 10:35 PM | Anonymous

    Our Game Authors and Editorial Board and always working hard. We want to highlight some of the new Reacting Games Under Review recently added to our library, as well as updated materials.

    Art in Paris

    Now includes French translated role sheets, instructor guide, and student handout - August 2022

    New Game - August 2022

    Bacon's Rebellion 
    New Gamebook - September 2022

    Congressional AIDS Hearings 
    New Files March 2022

    Election of 1912 
    Updated Gamebook, Instructor's Manual, and Role Sheets - September 2022

    Eyeball to Eyeball
    New Files June 2022; Soon moving to Central Michigan Press

    New Game - June 2022

    Updated Gamebook and Instructor Manual - September 2022

    Radical Reconstruction
    New Files July 2022
    Notes on the Updates from the Game Author: 
    After an excellent run at the conference in Boulder, I've made a bunch of changes to the Radical Reconstruction in Louisiana game. There is a new document and some of the game mechanics are different. There are also some new roles, which means the game can now have 36 players. They include:

    J. Stella Martin, escaped slavery, became an abolitionist, advocated for John Brown, and has now returned to Louisiana.

    Ludger Bouguille, a Black Creole who is the secretary for a fraternal order, is trying to keep his small school afloat. He is also friends with Henry Rey, the Spiritualist.

    Charles St. Albin Sauvinet is another Black Creole who recently became the Director of the New Orleans branch of the Freedmen's Bank. (This role can act as a sort of "banker" so that players do not lose their Prestige tokens).

    Stephen Walter Rogers became literate despite his enslavement and secretly taught others to read and write. By the time the game begins, he is a Baptist preacher, which provides Rev. Dove with some competition. He is also a pacifist, which will amplify this position in the endgame.

    And in case you missed's the most recent from Fall/Winter 2021 (also found in this announcement):


    Japanese Exclusion in California, 1906-1915

    Ending the Troubles: Religion, Nationalism, and the Search for Peace and Democracy in Northern Ireland, 1997-98


    Russian Literary Journals, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy in St. Petersburg, 1877 
    Updated February 2022

    1349: Plague Comes to Norwich
    Updated January 2022

    Bacon's Rebellion, 1676-1677: Race, Class, and Frontier Conflict in Colonial Virginia 
    Updated October 2021

    The Crisis of Catiline: Rome, 63 BCE 
    Updated August 2021

    Updated August 2022

    • The revised documents include the alternative of a 6 game session full version of the game or a 3 game session abridged version of the game, which is one of the recommendations that came out of the Winter Conference playtest. There are separate Zip files of the role sheets for use with the full version and abridged version of the game, respectively.

    • Other revisions include: revised historical context essay, core documents/contemporary texts, and handouts sections; expanded GM instructions for the Senate Watergate Committee report, the Saturday Night Massacre (including a new subplot for Kissinger), the White House’s decision to release tape summaries and transcripts, Supreme Court oral arguments, and the Senate trial; and a scorecard to assist the GM in keeping track of the game’s various moving parts.

    Expanded and Modified Materials from the Community

    French Game Resources Added new resources for instructors and students

    Restoring the World, 1945: Security and Empire at Yalta New Expanded Files - March 2022 - this includes name tents, additional roles, etc

  • June 14, 2022 5:14 AM | Anonymous

    Reacting Leadership Transitions
    An Announcement from the Reacting Consortium Board

    It is an important moment of change for the Reacting Consortium and its community.

    Mark Carnes will step away from his role as founding Executive Director of the Reacting Consortium on July 1st, 2022. Nick Proctor, founding Chair of the Reacting Editorial Board (REB) and an early member of the Reacting Consortium Board, will become the new Executive Director of Reacting. Kelly McFall, a member of both the Reacting Consortium Board and Reacting Editorial Board, has been selected as the Interim Chair of the Reacting Editorial Board with oversight of the development and review of games for publication.

    Mark Carnes
    Founder; Outgoing Executive Director
    Nick Proctor  
    Incoming Executive Director
    Kelly McFall
    Incoming Chair of REB

    The Reacting community owes a great debt to Mark and in fact wouldn’t exist but for his original vision for a new way to teach history in his Barnard classroom. From that moment of collaboration with his students about a new way to engage with classic texts in 1996, Mark went on to be a prolific author of Reacting games, grant-writer, fundraiser, recruiter, game-master, and encourager-in-chief to newcomers with fresh ideas about new topics and directions for Reacting. After this first experiment with a game set in Ming China, he went on to develop games about the Trial of Anne Hutchinson, the French Revolution, and India in 1945, making use of a FIPSE grant to enlist co-authors with disciplinary expertise in these areas. In 2001, he hosted the first Reacting workshop, inviting 40 colleagues from around the country. Having always served as Executive Director pro bono, Mark looks forward to being able to devote more time to writing and revising games and supporting others in the game development process.

    Under Nick Proctor’s direction, the Reacting Editorial Board (REB) became a formal body that defined a “Reacting game,” established criteria for guiding its development, and set up a system of peer review to determine when games were ready for publication. As he steps into the role of Executive Director, Nick’s vision for the future focuses on continued expansion of the flagship library; deepening our relationship with high schools; figuring out the balance between in-person conferences and online programming going forward; and improving fiscal stability by growing existing income streams as well as increasing their number. As he notes, “We should also capitalize on the expertise that we have built with online programming. In addition to broadening the geographical and institutional scope of attendees, these can offer good opportunities to field test new games."

    Kelly McFall’s goals for the REB include management of the process of soliciting, reviewing, and moving toward publication efficiently and effectively; continuing to grow our pool of game authors and game projects; working with the Game Development Conference to pilot and experiment with different structures and mechanisms; serving as an ambassador for Reacting and an effective liaison for game authors; and completing and executing a system for review of existing games that are moving into second editions.

    The Reacting Consortium is deeply grateful to Mark Carnes for all of his years of creative and inspired leadership. We are glad that he will remain an active member of this community and look forward to supporting Nick and Kelly as they step into their new roles.

    To read a tribute to Mark Carnes, check our blog.

  • April 07, 2022 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    We want to keep you updated throughout our transition to our new publishers, UNC-Press (read more about that here and here).

    Here is a spreadsheet with all our published titles and their new ISBN numbers. Details are also copied below.  You can preorder these titles NOW, and they will be available in July! 

    Title Authors Paperback ISBN Ebook ISBN
    Building the Italian Renaissance Brunelleschi's Dome and the Florence Cathedral Paula Kay Lazrus 978-1-4696-5339-6 978-1-4696-5340-2
    Changing the Game
    Title IX, Gender, and College Athletics
    Kelly McFall, Abigail Perkiss 978-1-4696-7066-9  
    Charles Darwin, the Copley Medal, and the Rise of Naturalism, 1862-1864 Marsha Driscoll, Elizabeth E. Dunn, Dann Siems, B. Kamran Swanson 978-1-4696-7077-5  
    Chicago, 1968
    Policy and Protest at the Democratic National Convention
    Nicolas W. Proctor 978-1-4696-7070-6  
    The Collapse of Apartheid and the Dawn of Democracy in South Africa, 1993 John C. Eby, Fred Morton 978-1-4696-3316-9 978-1-4696-3317-6
    Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor, 1587 Daniel K. Gardner, Mark C. Carnes 978-1-4696-7080-5  
    Constantine and the Council of Nicaea Defining Orthodoxy and Heresy in Christianity, 325 CE David E. Henderson, Frank Kirkpatrick 978-1-4696-3141-7 978-1-4696-3142-4
    The Constitutional Convention of 1787 Constructing the American Republic John Patrick Coby 978-1-4696-7088-1  
    Defining a Nation
    India on the Eve of Independence, 1945
    Ainslie T. Embree, Mark C. Carnes 978-1-4696-7079-9  
    Environmental Science and International Politics
    Acid Rain in Europe, 1979-1989, and Climate Change in Copenhagen, 2009
    David E. Henderson, Susan K. Henderson 978-1-4696-4029-7 978-1-4696-4030-3
    Europe on the Brink, 1914 The July Crisis John E. Moser 978-1-4696-5986-2  
    Food Fight
    Challenging the USDA Food Pyramid, 1991
    Susan K. Henderson, David E. Henderson 978-1-4696-6174-2  
    Forest Diplomacy
    Cultures in Conflict on the Pennsylvania Frontier, 175
    Nicolas W. Proctor 978-1-4696-7073-7  
    Greenwich Village, 1913
    Suffrage, Labor, and the New Woman
    Mary Jane Treacy 978-1-4696-7069-0  
    Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament John Patrick Coby 978-1-4696-4755-5 978-1-4696-4756-2
    Japan, 1941
    Between Pan-Asianism and the West
    John E. Moser 978-1-4696-7065-2  
    Kentucky, 1861
    Loyalty, State, and Nation
    Nicolas W. Proctor, Margaret Storey 978-1-4696-7071-3  
    Mexico in Revolution, 1912-1920 Jonathan Truitt, Stephany Slaughter 978-1-4696-7072-0  
    Modernism versus Traditionalism Art in Paris, 1888-1889 Gretchen K. McKay, Nicolas W. Proctor, Michael A. Marlais 978-1-4696-4126-3 978-1-4696-4127-0
    The Needs of Others Human Rights, International
    Organizations, and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994
    Kelly McFall 978-1-4696-7068-3  
    Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776 Bill Offutt 978-1-4696-7067-6  
    Red Clay, 1835
    Cherokee Removal and the Meaning of Sovereignty
    Jace Weaver, Laura Adams Weaver 978-1-4696-7064-5  
    The Remaking of the Medieval World, 1204
    The Fourth Crusade
    John J. Giebfried, Kyle C. Lincoln 978-1-4696-6411-8 978-1-4696-6412-5
    Restoring the World, 1945 Security and Empire at Yalta Nicolas W. Proctor, John E. Moser 978-1-4696-5984-8 978-1-4696-5985-5
    Rousseau, Burke, and Revolution in France, 1791 Jennifer J. Popiel, Mark C. Carnes 978-1-4696-7074-4  
    Stages of Power
    Marlowe and Shakespeare, 1592
    Eric S. Mallin, Paul V. Sullivan 978-1-4696-3144-8 978-1-4696-3145-5
    The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.E. Josiah Ober, Naomi J. Norman, Mark C. Carnes 978-1-4696-7075-1  
    The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law, and Intolerance in Puritan New England Michael P. Winship, Mark C. Carnes 978-1-4696-7078-2  
    The Trial of Galileo
    Aristotelianism, the "New Cosmology," and the Catholic Church, 1616-1633
    Michael S. Pettersen, Frederick Purnell, Jr., Mark C. Carnes 978-1-4696-7081-2  

    BONUS: note the uniform, lower price point for paperbacks ($30), and the availability of e-books for a portion of the games, as well.

  • February 07, 2022 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    Our Game Authors and Editorial Board and always working hard. We want to highlight some of the new Reacting Games Under Review recently added to our library, as well as updated materials. 


    Japanese Exclusion in California, 1906-1915

    Ending the Troubles: Religion, Nationalism, and the Search for Peace and Democracy in Northern Ireland, 1997-98


    Russian Literary Journals, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy in St. Petersburg, 1877 (Updated February 2022)

    1349: Plague Comes to Norwich (Updated January 2022)

    Bacon's Rebellion, 1676-1677: Race, Class, and Frontier Conflict in Colonial Virginia (Updated October 2021)

    The Crisis of Catiline: Rome, 63 BCE (Updated August 2021)

    Expanded and Modified Materials from the Community

    Restoring the World, 1945: Security and Empire at Yalta (March 2022 - this includes name tents, additional roles, etc)


    We'll continue to update this list, and then start a new one for the spring. 

  • December 15, 2021 2:01 PM | Anonymous

    Major Press Release: 12/15/2021 

    *Reacting Consortium and UNCP to partner in publishing all Reacting games.

    The Reacting Consortium, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with the University of North Carolina Press to publish all Reacting to the Past games. Beginning in the summer and fall of 2022, UNCP will publish the thirty games currently published by W. W. Norton and the Reacting Consortium Press. UNCP will also publish, as regular imprints of the press, all future Reacting to the Past games. This will consolidate Reacting offerings and make it easier for instructors to find and use Reacting materials. It will also facilitate and simplify the process for developing and publishing Reacting games.

    “The Consortium has long sought to bring all of its games under the broad umbrella of an outstanding university press,” declared Mark Carnes, Executive Director of the Reacting Consortium. “While we’re excited by this opportunity to expand and rationalize the Reacting pedagogy, we appreciate W. W. Norton, whose fine team did so much to promote and refine Reacting to the Past during its formative years.” The Reacting Consortium will continue to partner with W. W. Norton on the Flashpoints series of short games.

    “This agreement was the culmination of countless hours of work by the Executive Committee of the Reacting Board, chaired sequentially by Anthony Crider (physicist, Elon University) and Gretchen Galbraith (Dean of Arts and Sciences, SUNY Potsdam), and including Publishing Director Jace Weaver (historian, University of Georgia) and Nick Proctor, chair of the Reacting Editorial Board (historian, Simpson College), along with Dr. Jenn Worth, Administrative Director, and Maddie Provo, Membership Director, of the Reacting Consortium staff,” Carnes added.

    You can read more here on the blog of UNC Press

    The Reacting Consortium, Inc., a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation, governs the Reacting to the Past pedagogy, in which students play complex games, set in the past, their roles informed by important texts. The Reacting pedagogy is used by over 500 colleges and universities in the United States—and also by several dozen universities elsewhere.

    For further information: Mark Carnes
    Jenn Worth
    Gretchen Galbraith

  • November 01, 2021 10:04 AM | Anonymous

    The Reacting Consortium Board is seeking nominations for open positions on the Board beginning on July 1, 2022 and extending until June 30, 2025.

    The first priority is for someone in a position to provide philanthropic support or experience in fundraising of the kind that RTTP needs to sustain itself and to grow. The second priority is for a Senior Administrator at the level of Dean or above (i.e., Provost, President, etc.) who will be situated to provide the Board with guidance on how to encourage and develop institutional support for Reacting to the Past. The third priority is for someone with experience in technological design who can contribute to the development of innovative pedagogical approaches to online workshops, virtual events, etc. Candidates with a variety of diverse backgrounds and experiences are especially encouraged.

    Nominations (including contact information) should be sent to the Chair of the Nominations Committee, John Lucaites (, by December 1, 2021.

  • April 15, 2021 3:00 PM | Anonymous


    The Reacting to the Past Game Development Conference Executive Committee (a.k.a. “The Junta”) is pleased to issue a Call for Proposals for the 2021 GDC (held July 1-18) in two areas:

    • Level 2 Games to be playtested, and
    • Pitches for new games needing feedback and discussion by experienced Reacting instructors, gamers, and designers

    The GDC is geared toward the development and enrichment of Reacting through an innovative program of cross-pollination and fruitful inquiry, and is appropriate for those with previous RTTP experience. For priority consideration, download the appropriate Google form below, complete it, and email it to by April 17, 2021.

    Notum sit omnibus tam presentibus quam futuris...
    The Reacting to the Past Game Development Conference Executive Committee for the Benefit of the Consortium and the People (a.k.a. “The Junta”) is pleased to issue a “Call for Proposals” for the 2021 (unfortunately still synchronous and online) GDC. In accordance with the customs of our ancestors, we ask for proposals for L2 Games to be playtested and for “pitches” for new games that need group feedback and discussion. There is a modest amount of paperwork, which the GDCECBCP uses to inventory and vet the games proposed for playtesting. This year, we are able to offer fewer slots than in the traditional years, but our hope is that we can return to GDC customs fully next year. The “pitches” consist of short presentations from practitioners developing games that might benefit from the fertile ideas ecology of the GDC, where game ideas can be enhanced by the cross-usage of extant elements, addition of kinds of source questions, mechanical innovations, and the general insights of the experienced Reacting designer.

    “The Junta” also offers a number of workshops, these year to be led by some of RttP’s luminaries, visionaries, and deplorables, for both the benefit and corruption of Reacting as an enterprise. The GDC is always geared toward the development and enrichment of Reacting through an innovative program of cross-pollination and fruitful inquiry, but is usually limited to those with previous experience in the pedagogy as a whole.

  • December 09, 2020 3:39 AM | Anonymous

    Let's take a quick look back at our summer 2020 events. 

    After so many of us were sent to work from home in March, we knew we had to figure out what to do in lieu of the Annual Institute--it was supposed to be the 20th, and a big celebration, at that. But, in true RTTP fashion: we planned our best, and then watched life unfold in front of us, heedless of our wishes.

    So we did what Reactors do: we kept our Victory Objectives in mind, hustled, and came up with Plans B, C, D, and more! What we ended up with were eleven games offered over three months, both synchronously and asynchronously, for nearly 200 registrants: similar to what we’d aim for at an Institute. In addition to the games, we also offered training sessions on various software platforms for distance learning, Q& A panels with experienced faculty and students, and additional programs on emotional intelligence, adjusting game mechanisms, and specifics on how to adapt some of our most popular games.

    We are incredibly grateful to all of our GMs, panelists, board members, and especially Board Chair Tony Crider, for the work they put in making this summer a learning experience worthy of the Reacting name.

    As with everything in 2020, this year’s Game Development Conference was different. A virtual GDC turned out to be simultaneously different and the same.

    Instead of gathering at Cabrini, we met via zoom each Thursday of July. We still managed to playtest three terrific games: Japanese Exclusion in California, 1906-20, Grandsons of Genghis: The Mongol Qurultai of 1246, and Egypt’s Liberal Experiment, 1925-27. We also held several ‘pitch sessions’ where game designers talked about their ideas and received feedback.

    Playing on zoom was simultaneously challenging and enlightening. Emma Eck, a student intern at Newman, played stage manager behind the scenes, moving people into and out of breakout rooms, managing polls and allowing designers to concentrate on learning from game play. Not only did we learn about the games we were playtesting, but we learned more about how games work in an online world. And, as usual, Mark Carnes again celebrated someone else’s victory.

    Sparked by the decision to go virtual, Jeff Fortney and Amy Curry took on the task of leading a task force to identify best practices for designing games for the on-line environment. That task force made a preliminary report at an online session in August and continues to work.

    The transition to virtual was challenging and rewarding at the same time. But we hope that next year we’ll return in our traditional conference format. Covid allowing, we hope to see many of you at Cabrini in July of 2021.

  • November 23, 2020 1:03 PM | Anonymous

    In an unrelenting year, the Reacting Editorial Board and Game Development Conference continue their unbelievable work. We're excited to share game development highlights: 

    Chicago, 1968: Policy and Protest at the Democratic National Convention
    Japan, 1941: Between Pan-Asianism and the West

    Europe on the Brink, 1914: The July Crisis
    Restoring the World, 1945: Security and Empire at Yalta

    Paterson, 1913: A Labor Strike in the Progressive Era
    Raising the Eleventh Pillar: The Ratification Debate of 1788

    Food Fight: Challenging the USDA Food Pyramid, 1991

    While the final changes are still being made to two of the games most recently approved for the Reacting Consortium Library, Mark Thompson's Physician-Assisted Suicide: Autonomy, Ethics, Morality, and the End of Life is available for members to download.

For more personal stories, essays, and advice. 

This website is still in beta.  Please email us with feedback and ideas. Thank you for your patience and understanding.  

You may know us as RTTP Reacting to the Past educational games gamification simulations classroom simulations case studies case study method history historical role-playing role playing games LARP ing role play games for education help me be a better professor college professor alternatives to lectures active learning active-learning learning activities energize your classroom best practices AHA the chronicle teaching learning center teaching excellence public speaking  promote metacognition emotional intelligence teach empathy student agency what is Reacting to the Past the Reacting Consortium immersive role-playing games  educational debate debating economic simulations historical simulation model UN 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software