Somebody please hold us, it has finally happened. Our dreams have come true! Someone has made a history class that fuses the academic study of history with the playing of video games. That’s right; a professor by the name of Joseph November of the University of South Carolina has crafted a history class that features video games as the main way students engage with course material.

According to a handout of the course description posted on reddit, the major focus of the class is to examine each game’s portrayal of its respective time period as well as consider how video games as a medium can help provide new perspectives on history. The playing list for the class features a variety of video games based in historical settings such as Assassins’ Creed II, Railroad Tycoon, Age of Empires III, Fallout 3 and many more.

With the announcement of this class, read more »

So, it’s no secret that vampires are a really hot trend right now. Truth be told, the sexy vampire concept first emerged in 1994, with the film adaptation of “Interview With a Vampire,” and then the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” franchise started in 1997. But the sexy vampire skyrocketed into fame in 2008, with the premiere of the Showtime series “True Blood,” and release of the first Twilight film. Then things really took off.

Suddenly, we’re having to pick between Team Edward and Team Jacob. We’re watching “The Vampire Diaries,” which proved that yes, vampires have issues too. We’re even watching adaptations of weird foreign films featuring vampire children (though “Let Me In” was pretty awesome). And let’s not forget that the sexy Kate Beckinsale has played a vampire in approximately half a dozen “Underworld” movies by now.

This has all been good fun. The fan girls get to scream at “Twilight” and stalk Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner obsessively, and the adults get to watch weekly HBO vampire sex (and a legitimate plot) on “True Blood.” With all the hype building up over this, the next logical step is the forthcoming blockbuster, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Wait, what? read more »

Professor Leon Litwack will give his last lecture on Monday. He will be ending a 43-year career at UC Berkeley in front of his History 7B class. Are you going to “Fight the Power”?We wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a standing O.bq. “He doesn’t simply tolerate students,” history graduate student David Johnson said at an awards ceremony. “I’m not aware of any other professor of his stature insisting upon teaching such a large introductory course to a decidedly freshman class.”Back in March, Litwack received the 2007 Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching. This campus award is the only one bestowed by a student conference, and it’s no wonder why this professor is a favorite of students.We mean, he raps in class. And did we mention he’s 77?He’s best known for his study of racial relations and segregation in America, focusing specifically on the lives of African Americans.He’s still worried about the state of the nation and the education it provides to its different races.bq. “At some point,” he said, “students have to confront the fact that we’re founded by slave-owning champions of liberty. We’re not the land of the free and the home of the brave.”Leaving a golden mark on history [SF Chronicle]