Paterson, 1913: A Labor Strike in the Progressive Era
New technologies are changing the nation's silk industry, workers are losing ground, labor organizations are offering solutions from reformist to radical. A city's economy hangs in the balance: what will happen? Can you save Paterson and its people?
3-5 Sessions 11-35 Students 20th Century North America Flashpoints
Raising the Eleventh Pilar: The Ratification Debate of 1788
Students sit as delegates to the New York State Ratifying Convention. Eight states have ratified to date, but a ninth is needed to give effect to the Constitution. The central issue of the game is democratic representation and the debate between the federalists and Antifederalists.
3 Sessions 7-100+ Students 18th Century North America Flashpoints
Acid Rain in Europe, 1979-1989
Covers the negotiation of the Long-Range Transport Pollution treaty. This was the first ever international pollution control treaty and remains at the forefront of addressing European pollution.
4-10 Sessions 11-40 Students 20th Century Europe Published Game (STEM)
Climate Change in Copenhagen, 2009
Covers the negotiations at the Conference of Parties 15 meeting that was attended by a large number of national leaders. Also includes representatives of non-government organizations and the press.
4-6 Sessions 12-31 Students 21st Century Europe International Published Game (STEM)
Diet and Killer Diseases: The McGovern Committee Hearings, 1977
Many trace the origin of the low-fat diet craze to the Senate hearings of the McGovern Committee in 1977. This game examines the scientific evidence available in 1977 by expanding the hearings to include a larger range of voices than were invited to the actual hearing. Students will take the role of senators and the media while examining scientific evidence at the time linking dietary fat to health.
3-8 Sessions 6-36 Students 20th Century North America Level 3 Game (STEM)
US Investment in Liberia, 1926-1932
The ambitious investment by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in the West African country of Liberia is at a crossroads. Recent reports of slave labor in Liberia have come to the attention of the League of Nations and US State Department to investigate the labor issues in Liberia. Now witnesses have been called to London to provide their testimony: should the future of this troubled country include a role for the US company or is it time for Firestone to leave Liberia?
6-9 Sessions 14-30 Students 20th Century Africa Microgame
Food Fight: Challenging the USDA Food Pyramid, 1991
Set during a 1991 Congressional hearing that evaluated the USDA’s development of the Food Pyramid, a document that angered various agribusiness groups and some nutrition experts. This Open Access Reacting Game can be used in food and nutrition general education science courses and introductory chemistry and biology courses.
3-5 Sessions 11-35 Students 20th Century North America Published Game (OER)
Food or Famine, 2002: The Debate over Genetically Modified Crops in Southern Africa
Set in an African conference at which nations facing famine are confronted with the choice between accepting genetically modified (GM) corn from the USA and the risk that they will not be able to export their agricultural products to the EU as a result or allowing people to starve. Students learn about GM foods and the controversies over their safety, both for health reasons and ecological reasons.
4-5 Sessions 6-29 Students 21st Century Africa International Level 3 Game (STEM)
Korea at the Crossroads of Civilizations: Confucianism, Westernization, and the 1894 Kabo Reforms
Reform has swept through East Asia following the irruption of Western imperialism in the second half of the nineteenth century. Set in the Deliberative Council, a body established by the Korean court in the midst of the Sino-Japanese War to discuss and implement measures to restructure government, economy, society, and education.
6-16 Sessions 10-26 Students 19th Century Asia Level 4 Game
London, 1854: Cesspits, Cholera, and Conflict over the Broad Street Pump
The local Board of Governors and Directors of the Poor of St. James Parish have convened a special emergency response committee to respond to the deadly outbreak of Cholera that has claimed the lives of more than 500 parish residents over the preceding eight days. This committee's decision and the events leading up to it are considered a defining moment in the development of modern approaches to public health, epidemiology and municipal waste management.
2-3 Sessions 16-24 Students 19th Century Europe Level 2 Game (STEM)
Mexico in Revolution, 1912-1920
Rifts between the elite and poor have led to unrest and a series of revolts. But with the ousting of President Porfirio Díaz there is a chance to reform Mexico and make it a better nation for all of its inhabitants. Will new leaders stabilize their country and prevent another civil war? Or will Mexico spiral out of control?
3-11 Sessions 14-35+ Students 20th Century North America 1-8 Sessions Published Game
Please note that Reacting Microgames have not yet undergone the extensive editorial and review process that our Flashpoints and Flexble Full-length games have. All microgames can be found on the microgames page.
Christians, Pagans, and the Altar of Victory, 384
You are a member of the Roman Senate in 384 AD. Constantine rescinded the old laws prohibiting Christianity, openly favored Christians in staffing the imperial bureaucracy, and established Constantinople as a specifically Christian city. Nevertheless, many Romans remain faithful to the traditional religion, which the Christians dismissively refer to as paganism. The result for much of the fourth century has been domestic turmoil.
4th Century Europe Microgame
Are Atoms Real? 1860 Conference of Chemistry at Karlsruhe
It is the first international chemistry meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany. The assembled scientists represent the who’s who of 19th century science. Much of the conflict in the game centers on the proper formulas for water and carbon oxide and the relative weights of carbon and oxygen. Arguments rely on differing interpretations of a collection of experimental data available in 1860.
19th Century Europe Level 2 Game (STEM)
Athens Besieged: Debating Surrender
Set within the Long Walls of Athens during the winter of 405-404 BCE. In the Fall of 405 Sparta destroyed the Athenian fleet at Aegospotami (near the straits leading to the Black Sea). The Athenian Assembly must determine whether to surrender and relinquish its democracy. The Spartan kings, being advised by various generals in their war council, and by the Delphic Oracle, determine the outcome of the game—and the fate of Athens.
5th Century BCE Europe Microgame
Athens Reconciliation Agreement Conference Game
Chopped-down materials to run the first Athens debate for conferences or recruitment events.
5th Century BCE Europe Microgame
British Modernism, 1905
This microgame has been developed to introduce students to ideas at issue in literary modernism, particularly in Britain. It is designed to raise questions about the relationship between Victorian realist narratives and the interventions/innovations that will appear starting in the late nineteenth-century and continuing into the early decades of the twentieth.
20th Century Europe Microgame
Charles VII and the French Estates
Simulates how certain monarchs managed to increase their power at the expense of rival elites (mainly clergy and nobility) during the later Middle Ages. The scene is Paris in the late 1430s. France has been at war with England for nearly a century, and after decades of defeat and humiliation the tide of war seems finally to have changed.
15th Century Europe Microgame
Conclave 1492: The Election of a Renaissance Pope
Students are members of the sacred college of cardinals, princes of the Roman Catholic Church convened in secret to elect the next pope. They must use knowledge of the renaissance church and late-medieval Europe to advance their character's political and religious concerns in pursuit of personal power and (perhaps) the best interests of Christendom.
15th Century Europe Microgame
Egyptian Prison and the Council of Antioch
This microgame may serve as a companion to the Constantine and the Council of Nicaea game. It is designed to set up the situation leading to two major issues at the Council of Nicaea, the Arian heresy and the Meletian Schism.
4th Century Africa Europe Microgame
Eyeball to Eyeball, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis
Eyeball to Eyeball has been accepted for publication by the Center for Learning through Games and Simulations, with a target date of the end of 2023. In the interim, Reactors wanting to use the game should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the game's most current availability.
The Fate of Mary Stuart
Players take the roles of historical figures who attempt to influence the queen to confirm the sentence, pardon Mary, execute her through a different legal process, or maybe even remove her by unsavory means... Politics, religion, private interests, the fragile relationship with Scotland, the war in the Netherlands, and possible war with Spain are all factors that will come into play.
16th Century Europe Microgame
The Fate of John Brown, 1859
In 1859, John Brown gathered a small force and attacked the United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia to obtain thousands of weapons, which he planned to distribute to the slaves to free themselves. The plan failed catastrophically, with most of Brown’s force either dead or captured in less than two days. This game is set at a fictitious conference, called to debate whether John Brown should be executed. Most importantly, this game engages students with the nation’s gravest existential crisis, revolving around the place of slavery in America’s future.
19th Century North America Microgame
The Jumonville Incident
Constant struggles between the British and French empires draw in colonists, indigenous populations, and other European powers. Now, a new flashpoint has developed for this rivalry: the Ohio Country. The Jumonville Incident, and thus the French and Indian War, is about to begin. In this microgame, students will take on the roles of figures from all factions in this contested event.
18th Century North America Microgame
Making History: The Breakup Microgame
Two contemporary college students break up. Sources differ regarding the cause. Players discover new ways to sort them, which provides insights and deepens confusion. This microgame is intended to introduce undergraduates to some of the issues involved in the use of primary sources to construct historical narratives.
21st Century Anywhere Microgame
The North Korean Hunger Games: Famine, Rogue Regimes, and the Ethics of Aid. 1195-1998
Students will take on the question of humanitarian assistance in an environment fraught with complications. A wide range of government representatives and aid organizations have gathered to discuss the future of assistance to North Korea. While no one can deny North Korea’s need, students will debate whether North Korea qualifies for aid and how that aid will be distributed.
20th Century Asia International Microgame
The Pluto Debate: The International Astronomical Union Defines a Planet
Students play one of nine astronomers arguing the definition of a planet at a 1999 debate in New York City and a 2006 meeting of the International Astronomical Union. Using scientific precedent and discoveries, students will compare Pluto with other celestial bodies and put scientific ideals into action.
20th and 21st Century North America 1-2 Game Sessions Level 3 Game
The Synod of Worms, 1076
Portions of this page are still under construction, pending more details from the Game Author.
11th Century Europe Microgame
Texas Annexation, 1841
Students are divided into two factions debating the ratification of a treaty of annexation between the United States and the Republic of Texas submitted to the United States Senate in April 1841. The debate takes into consideration questions of Manifest Destiny, imperialism, party politics, slavery, and sectionalism. Students may choose to ratify the treaty as written or endorse alternative proposals submitted during the course of debate.
19th Century North America Microgame
Simplified Chicago, 1968 Conference Game
This is an abbreviated, edited, and altered version of Chicago 1968 intended for use as a demo of Reacting to the Past pedagogy for faculty. It is meant to be used in a 1.5-2 hour session, where participants will spend an hour or so in gameplay. It is suitable for 6-26 players.
20th Century North America Microgame
French Revolution Conference Game
Chopped-down materials to run the first French Revolution debate for conferences or recruitment events.
18th Century Europe Microgame
Confucianism in China Conference Game
This is an abbreviated, edited, and altered version of Confucianism in China 1587 intended for use as a demo of Reacting to the Past pedagogy for faculty.
16th Century Asia Microgame