Red Dead Redemption Is Being Used To Teach A College American History Class


History professor Tore Olsson is combining his love for history and his love for games in a new history class at the University of Tennessee titled “HIUS 383: Red Dead America.” The class will use both Red Dead Redemption and its sequel as jumping off points to explore the 1899-1911 period of American history.

In a Twitter thread explaining what the class’s syllabus will cover, Olsson admits that, taken alone, the games are “often historically inaccurate,” but still provide good jumping off points for the discussion of numerous historical issues including colonialism, racism, and the rise of monopoly capitalism.

Olsson has credited fellow historian Jonathan S. Jones for inspiring him to develop the class, after Jones wrote a feature for Slate examining how Red Dead Redemption 2 depicts and lets players interact with the U.S.’s racist past.

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