Argentina, 1985: Making Memory
by Mary Jane Treacy
Argentina is at a crossroads. A military dictatorship has ended, a democratically elected president has taken office, and the nation begins to address its violent past: repression, political violence, labor unrest, "disappeared" citizens. This game brings these national debates to a secondary school that asks its students to seek information, tell a story about what happened at the school, and determine a path forward.
Using the Game
You can adjust the assignments to fit the desired learning outcomes of your class. This game can include journalism, creative writing, and letter writing. The game is centered on small group work.
"It’s a wonderful introduction to memory studies, issues of transitional justice and to Argentinian history. It has enough gaminess to sustain interest while having enough intellectual heft to challenge even the brightest students. There can be a clear connection to issues that students across the world are wrestling with today. Every student, regardless of whether s/he is interested in Argentina, would benefit from playing this game."
Reacting Consortium members can download all game materials below. You will be asked to sign in before downloading.
All students need a Gamebook, which includes resources and historical content. Members can download the Gamebook, and provide it to students for free or at cost.
VERSION 5.1. Updated August 2021.
The Instructor's Manual includes guidance for assigning roles, presenting historical context, assignments, activities and discussion topics, and more.
Resources for Introduction and/or Debrief
Suggested films can be used throughout the game as well as to exit the game. The IM's appendices provide viewing guides to these films: Camila, Eva Perón, La historia oficial, Our Disappeared, and Cautiva. Snippets of La mirada invisible are also suggested, as is a recording of the National Anthem of Argentina.
Mary Jane Treacy
Mary Jane Treacy is professor emerita of modern languages and literatures at Simmons College, where she was also director of the honors program. She has been involved with the Reacting to the Past pedagogy since 2005, when she played a minor spy in the court of Henry VIII and then set out to write Greenwich Village, 1913, for her course in the roots of feminism. She has taught Greenwich Village in both women’s and gender studies courses and first-year seminars. She is also author of a new Flashpoints game on a labor strike in Paterson, NJ (Paterson, 1913: A Labor Strike in the Progressive Era).