“Spirit of Revolution: The Connecticut Line Explored!” Will Allow Multiple Players to Assume Identities of Diverse Characters from the Continental Army’s Connecticut Line from 1775 to 1781
Media Contact: Jennifer LaRue, 860-836-5391; firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug. 2, 2023: Connecticut Explored Inc., the nonprofit organization that publishes Connecticut Explored magazine, is pleased to announce that it has received a $25,000 planning grant from Connecticut Humanities for “Spirit of Revolution: The Connecticut Line Explored!”
“Spirit of Revolution” is a non-competitive online multiplayer digital simulation created by Connecticut Explored (CTExplored). It immerses players from Connecticut and beyond in the world of the Revolutionary War to imagine themselves as part of Continental Army’s Connecticut Line from 1775 to 1781. Players choose an identity from a mix of diverse characters and make decisions that put the fate of the revolution in their hands. The educational game includes curricula teachers and parents can use to enhance the experience.
CTExplored Executive Director and Publisher Kathy Hermes said, “We are extremely grateful to CTHumanities for all of its support, including this generous grant, which recognizes our belief that the 250th anniversary of the Revolution is a time to tell a new, fuller story, include new voices, slay myths, and use new media to go beyond the mainstream historical narrative.”
“Many people don’t realize how diverse our state was at the time of the war,” Hermes continued, “and this is a chance for all Connecticans to see the Revolution in broad, global, multi-ethnic terms.”
“As we approach the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we are shining the spotlight on the American Revolution stories we already know AND the important ones that are untold or lesser known,” said Dr. Jason R. Mancini, executive director of Connecticut Humanities. “Connecticut Explored’s educational digital simulation is an incredible way for people to better explore voices and experiences that have not been part of the traditional narrative and go deeper into learning about the roles that people from all backgrounds played.”
“Spirit of Revolution: The Connecticut Line Explored!” will use the digitized collections of Connecticut’s heritage and arts institutions to give those who play it an experience of the Revolutionary War. Coupled with feature articles in Connecticut Explored magazine and K-12 curriculum using TeachIt’s templates, the simulation will make well-prepared, easy-to-use resources available for teachers and parents to educate children about the Revolution. The game will offer a choice of two reading levels: Younger Readers (grades 4-8) and Older Readers (grades 9 and above).
Players will be able to choose from a variety of characters they can follow through the war: officers and officers’ wives, soldiers, laundresses, nurses, camp followers, children, physicians and their assistants, chaplains, and more. The Connecticut Line included people of Native, African, and European descent, and the game will reflect that diversity by featuring characters of a variety of races, ethnicities, genders, religious views, and political persuasions. It will also teach players to use critical thinking skills as they make strategic choices.
“The educational goal of this project is to introduce users to the cultural, political, and cultural history of the American Revolution,” Hermes said. “Recent events have highlighted the importance of social studies and history education for the successful functioning of a democratic republic. In addition, the closures and lost learning from the pandemic mean active student engagement will be a priority as teachers rebuild literacy and critical thinking skills. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to help further those goals.”
Hermes explained that the idea for this project emerged from three sources:
- Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) History Department adopted Reacting to the Past™ as a teaching method for several courses.
- Hermes, CCSU Professor Leah Glaser, and other members of an advisory team worked on a project about the Redding Encampment (1778-79) with Connecticut Radio Information System (CrisRadio), which creates programming for the sight impaired.
- Tyler Kynn, an assistant professor at CCSU, created a simulation called The Hajj Trail that uses open source software to allow students to simulate going on the Hajj.
The project’s scholarly advisory team includes:
Dr. Katherine Hermes, Publisher, Connecticut Explored, Inc. and Professor Emerita (Early American Legal History, Native American History, Digital History), Central CT State University (CCSU)
Dr. Matthew Warshauer, Professor (American Military History, Revolutionary and Early Nation Period), CCSU;
Dr. Tyler Kynn, Assistant Professor (Islamic World, Digital History), CCSU
Juan Coronado, Assistant Professor (Latin American History, Veterans’ History, Oral History), CCSU
David Naumec, Visiting Assistant Professor (Native American History, Military History), CCSU and Field Director and Historian for Heritage Consultants, LLC.
Camesha Scruggs, Assistant Professor of African American and Public History, CCSU.
The support team includes:
Dr. Aimee Loiselle, Social Studies Coordinator, CCSU
Dr. Amrys Williams, Executive Director, Connecticut League of History Organizations
Dennis Culliton, Executive Director, Witness Stones
Kristen Levithan, Education Specialist, Connecticut Explored, Inc.
Katrina Council, Teacher (U.S. History), Miss Porter’s School
Arianna Basche, Editorial Assistant at Connecticut Explored
Tavvia Jefferson, educator and researcher for the project, substitute public school teacher, Hartford and Bloomfield.
The project’s reviewer and evaluator is Dr. Cornelia Dayton, Professor of Early American History, University of Connecticut
Resources will be drawn from the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History; Connecticut Digital Archive; Digital Public Library of America, Mystic Seaport Museum Collections Research Center, Native Northeast Portal; National Archives. Ancestry.com, and the Connecticut State Library.
Any Connecticut historical, arts, or cultural organization that wants to participate and has relevant material for the simulation will be able to participate. CTExplored is in the early stages of recruiting organizations to participate and has received enthusiastic responses from several already.
For more information about “Spirit of Revolution” contact Kathy Hermes at email@example.com.
If you would like to donate towards the matching funds needed for the grant, you can do so here, and in the “Apply My Donation To” box choose “Spirit of Revolution.”
The nonprofit organization Connecticut Explored Inc. publishes Connecticut Explored, a quarterly magazine devoted to the state’s history, produces Grating the Nutmeg, a podcast of Connecticut history, and has published an array of social studies resources about Connecticut for grades K-12, along with several books. For more information visit ctexplored.org.