Games List - Alpha Order
Portions of this page are still under construction, pending more details from the Game Authors. Reacting Consortium Members can download game materials below.
Pope versus Emperor versus the Whole of Christendom
Pope Gregory VII (r. 1073-1085), riding high on reformist spirit, has progressively sought to expand the temporal power of the papacy and to bring the Western Church into stricter obedience to Rome. In the spring of 1075, Gregory issued the papal bull Dictatus papae, boldly claiming that the pope, and only the pope, had the power to depose both bishops and secular rulers—even emperors. When Emperor Henry IV (r.1056-1105) invested his chaplain Theobald with the episcopacy of Milan later that year, Gregory responded by excommunicating five of Henry’s advisors despite imperial investiture being a time-honored tradition. Tempers flared and a series of strongly worded public letters flew between the two men, bringing Western Christendom to a crisis point where it had to decide who held ultimate authority, St. Peter’s representative on Earth or God’s divinely anointed secular ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
This is a Level 3 game that is still under development but has been approved by the Reacting Editorial Board (REB) for general use. A detailed explanation of the editorial process and game levels can be found on our REB Page.
Using the Game
Class Size and Scalability
There is advice in the Instructor's Manual for cutting the game down.
This game can be used on its own, or with other games. These pairings are meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive or prescriptive. Investiture may pair well with:
This game can include Traditional Paper/ Research/ Thesis-Driven Writing, Creative Writing, Criticism, Letter Writing, Mural Production, and Manuscript Production.
Each role is expected to complete two writing assignments.
Not all players are required to give a speech, there are non-speaking roles, but they are required to work on church art to portray the situation.
Reacting Consortium members can access all downloadable materials (including expanded and updated materials) below. You will be asked to sign in before downloading. Basic game materials (Gamebook, Role Sheets, Instructor's Guide, and Handouts) are available to any instructor through the publisher.
Students need a Gamebook, which includes directions, resources, and historical content. Investiture is available to download.
Updated September 2022
Students also need a Role Sheet, which contains biographical information, role-specific resources or assignments, and their character's secret victory objectives.
.zip file of .doc files.
Kyle C. Lincoln
Kyle C. Lincoln is Assistant Professor of Pre-Modern European History and Interdisciplinary Humanities at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. His 2021 Reacting textbook, co-authored with John Giebfried, Remaking the Medieval World: The Fourth Crusade, 1204, won several prizes, including the Reacting Consortium's Brilliancy Prize.
Reacting and Related Titles
Matthew E. Parker
Matthew E. Parker is a historian of the medieval Mediterranean, with research expertise in cross-cultural interactions during the High Middle Ages. He has published multiple articles focusing on both the Italian commune of Pisa and the Crusades. He holds a Ph.D. in Medieval History from St. Louis University. When not writing educational games or conducting research, he spends his time as a Senior Data Scientist at a major market research firm.
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Andrew Larsen is a professional historian, with a masters and doctorate in medieval history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at several universities in Wisconsin, including UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and Marquette University. His primary research interests are medieval religion, the history of the University of Oxford, and student violence. He also blogs about the intersection of history with movies and television as An Historian Goes to the Movies (aelarsen.wordpress.com).