Thursday, June 26, 2014

Black vomit, foul stenches, and snake pits, oh my! The Fever! has arrived.

The Fever! is here. Or rather, it's over at The Appendix. If you like your history lessons filled with black vomit, mercury pills, life-or-death decisions, fire, family, danger, romance, snake pits, and more, then definitely go check it out! It's 100% free and can be played using any modern web browser. Then, after you've had time to play through a few scenarios, come back to here and leave a comment or tweet to @brainsforgames and let me know what you think.

I wrote the story in an effort to make history accessible and appealing for people who find conventional history lessons to be dry or unrelatable. The scenario is completely grounded in historical fact, and yet there's nothing boring about the adventures of the story's protagonist, the fictional Dr. Brooks. The doctor is is a relatively ordinary man who has little to go on but common sense and his own values and loyalties as he makes life and death decisions when disease ravages the city of Philadelphia in the summer of 1793. He is definitely a man of a different time, but his thoughts and actions are still very much like our own, and I'm hoping players will find it easy to put themselves in the doctor's shoes.

Only time will tell how well the story succeeds, but my hope is that the story proves that interactive fiction presents rich opportunities for engagement in historical learning. More than anything, I believe that that these stories can breath new life into traditional methods of teaching history, but I won't know if I've succeeded without your feedback. Please, tell your friends, tell your teachers, tell anyone who might be interested! And of course, play through The Fever! yourself and share your reactions below.

And if you want to know more about how it all came together, take a look at my post-mortem of sorts, 3 Lessons I Learned Writing A Choose-Your-Own-Historical-Adventure.

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