Hearts of Iron II Becomes Teaching Tool

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Hearts of Iron II Becomes Teaching Tool

image

Hearts of Iron II is still fun, but now is educational, as it's being used to teach college students about WW2.

Hearts of Iron II is one of those strategy games that, if you can get past its steep learning curve, is supposed to be a great deal of fun with a ton of replay value. While the game is certainly well-regarded for its depth and realism, no one's considered the game to be an educational tool until now; a Political Science course at University of California, Los Angeles is using the game to help teach students about what led up to World War II.

The game is being facilitated by a student named Einar Engvig, who realized the game could be, "used in order to equip students with a better grasp of the Theory of Tripolarity and the general geopolitics of the world in the build up to WWII."

Students were given an introduction to the game and were then split into two-player teams. After this, each team was then given a specific nation to control and given unique objectives to accomplish through either aggression or diplomacy.

From what Engvig wrote in his course journal, it sounds like events have unfolded very differently from how they did in history:

"In terms of game specifics, the countries assigned to students were Poland, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Argentina and Brazil. Poland went on the offensive and annexed Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia as well as Czechoslovakia; this has made most students very scared of them.

"Italy has struggled in Ethiopia and has not expanded much beyond this. Yugoslavia first took Albania and then was able to take half of Bulgaria in a peace treaty after an arduous war. Although it takes at least a year for this treaty to expire, Yugoslavia simply allied itself with Turkey, and the two countries split up Bulgaria and are planning the same for Greece.

"Turkey declared war on Persia and has struggled to annex the fledgling state. Japan has kept to itself in its war with China. I have told Japan that they have the ability to turn the tables in South America. Brazil and Argentina, interestingly enough, allied with each other immediately and have annexed at least three countries one after the other.

"However, I secretly spoke with the team of Argentina and they are in a panic, as they understand that their more powerful partner Brazil can easily turn the tables on them in the future. Needless to say, Argentina is feeling abandonment/entrapment fears, an alliance dynamic we have gone over during lecture/discussion."

According to GamesIndustry.biz, student feedback to the program has been pretty positive. Some have said that the game has made history more interactive, which makes its easier to understand and remember important information about the historical period. Also, some non-gamer students have stated that they plan to keep playing Hearts of Iron II after the course ends.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Permalink

Well that's awesome! ^_^

Hoping more stories like this will emerge...

Wow, that's coincidental, because Hearts of Iron II was basically the game that taught me political geography. I can point out where any country on earth is on a map, name every country, and name their capitals because of this game.

Well, that's good for them. It's a great game, regardless. I spent literally the entire summer of 2007 playing nothing else but this game. The disk never left my drive.

Is HoI 3 any good?

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

Yes, it's probably the best of them all, but you need a really good computer (Much higher than the one it asks for in the system specs), and it's still quite glitchy. If you get past those, it's brilliant.

Furburt:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

Yes, it's probably the best of them all, but you need a really good computer (Much higher than the one it asks for in the system specs), and it's still quite glitchy. If you get past those, it's brilliant.

Huh. I'll probably have to get it then.

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

Huh. I'll probably have to get it then.

Yes, yes you probably will. Don't blame me if it doesn't work though.

Furburt:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

Huh. I'll probably have to get it then.

Yes, yes you probably will. Don't blame me if it doesn't work though.

I seem to be immune to supposedly 'buggy' games or programs, so it'll be fine.

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

No. It's overcomplicated (all the slider automation that was gradually added by Doomsday and Armageddon is gone, so it's all back to micromanagement hell), broken (ever seen Operation Overlord performed solo by Mexico? You can in HoI3 because the AI gets to ignore transport distance limits), inaccurate (Stalingrad is about 100 miles south of it's real location), and dull.

Get Arsenal of Democracy instead, it's Hearts of Iron 2 still, but with significant improvements to, well, just about everything.

The only thing HoI3 really does better is lines of supply.

Oh, and all the things that Hearts of Iron 3 really needs to fix it are being released in a paid for expansion. Joy.

Hmmm that actually sounds pretty interesting. I think im going to have to "acquire" a copy of this game and try it out.

GloatingSwine:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

No. It's overcomplicated (all the slider automation that was gradually added by Doomsday and Armageddon is gone, so it's all back to micromanagement hell), broken (ever seen Operation Overlord performed solo by Mexico? You can in HoI3 because the AI gets to ignore transport distance limits), inaccurate (Stalingrad is about 100 miles south of it's real location), and dull.

Get Arsenal of Democracy instead, it's Hearts of Iron 2 still, but with significant improvements to, well, just about everything.

The only thing HoI3 really does better is lines of supply.

Oh, and all the things that Hearts of Iron 3 really needs to fix it are being released in a paid for expansion. Joy.

Ah. I alos saw Europa Universalis 3 and like the setting of that game and the idea of that game more. Is it good?

vansau:
Poland went on the offensive and annexed Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia as well as Czechoslovakia; this has made most students very scared of them.

Poland starts out quite strong in Hearts of Iron 2. Starting in 1936 it's actually possible for a canny player to knock Germany out pretty much right at the start.

May have been remedied in expansions which give Germany more starting units.

MaxPowers666:
Hmmm that actually sounds pretty interesting. I think im going to have to "acquire" a copy of this game and try it out.

About a tenner on Steam or Gamersgate, even for Arsenal of Democracy. It's dead easy to get.

GloatingSwine:

MaxPowers666:
Hmmm that actually sounds pretty interesting. I think im going to have to "acquire" a copy of this game and try it out.

About a tenner on Steam or Gamersgate, even for Arsenal of Democracy. It's dead easy to get.

I would never ever buy anything on steam, I can get games cheaper elsewhere. Iv get games for 1/2 or less of what steam normally charges.

I think this is kinda cool. I loved HoI II and played countless hours on it.

Off-topic: I have HoI III, but haven't played that much of it.

That's awesome. Next, they should start using Medieval 2: Total War to teach medieval history.

GloatingSwine:

May have been remedied in expansions which give Germany more starting units.

It was. The first, I think. It's a lot harder, but it's still do-able. I remember I managed to ally with Germany once against England.

That was surreal.

looks a lot like axis&allies from back in the day

Sounds a lot like what my history teacher did with my class using Civilization 4 Warlords.

Its astounding how things can turn out. And its great fun as well. Especially for me who has played Civ for a long time, and everyone else was just starting ^_^

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

GloatingSwine:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

No. It's overcomplicated (all the slider automation that was gradually added by Doomsday and Armageddon is gone, so it's all back to micromanagement hell), broken (ever seen Operation Overlord performed solo by Mexico? You can in HoI3 because the AI gets to ignore transport distance limits), inaccurate (Stalingrad is about 100 miles south of it's real location), and dull.

Get Arsenal of Democracy instead, it's Hearts of Iron 2 still, but with significant improvements to, well, just about everything.

The only thing HoI3 really does better is lines of supply.

Oh, and all the things that Hearts of Iron 3 really needs to fix it are being released in a paid for expansion. Joy.

Ah. I alos saw Europa Universalis 3 and like the setting of that game and the idea of that game more. Is it good?

Europa Universalis 3 is... ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!

Seriously, Hearts Of Iron 3 (1936-1948), Europa Universalis 3 (1399-1821) AND Victoria (1836-1920 something) taught me a lot about the world, granted, I had very little knowledge of the world before I played the games but still!

Xandus117:
That's awesome. Next, they should start using Medieval 2: Total War to teach medieval history.

HA-ha-ha

You're kidding right?

Entire europe wasn't made up of 12 countries, ever -.-

Nor can you just send 800 men and 10 priests for a trip through russia and keep a stable empire..

headshotcatcher:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

GloatingSwine:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

No. It's overcomplicated (all the slider automation that was gradually added by Doomsday and Armageddon is gone, so it's all back to micromanagement hell), broken (ever seen Operation Overlord performed solo by Mexico? You can in HoI3 because the AI gets to ignore transport distance limits), inaccurate (Stalingrad is about 100 miles south of it's real location), and dull.

Get Arsenal of Democracy instead, it's Hearts of Iron 2 still, but with significant improvements to, well, just about everything.

The only thing HoI3 really does better is lines of supply.

Oh, and all the things that Hearts of Iron 3 really needs to fix it are being released in a paid for expansion. Joy.

Ah. I alos saw Europa Universalis 3 and like the setting of that game and the idea of that game more. Is it good?

Europa Universalis 3 is... ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!

Seriously, Hearts Of Iron 3 (1936-1948), Europa Universalis 3 (1399-1821) AND Victoria (1836-1920 something) taught me a lot about the world, granted, I had very little knowledge of the world before I played the games but still!

Alrighty. Well if nobody has anything else to say then I'll probably be getting that :)

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

Alrighty. Well if nobody has anything else to say then I'll probably be getting that :)

Hell, get them all, they're cheap, all the Paradox interactive games.

Actually, if you get Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis 2, Victoria and Hearts of Iron II, you can play straight all the way from 1066 to 1964, because you can transfer the save games between them.

Furburt:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

Alrighty. Well if nobody has anything else to say then I'll probably be getting that :)

Hell, get them all, they're cheap, all the Paradox interactive games.

Actually, if you get Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis 2, Victoria and Hearts of Iron II, you can play straight all the way from 1066 to 1964, because you can transfer the save games between them.

1. HOLY SHIT THAT IS BADASS!
2. Will this work with multiplayer as well? If I buy a game, is usually for the joy of LAN.
3. Is Europa Univeralis 3 better than 2?

Hehe, well there are worse games to teach with I suppose. It does have alot of content and alot of stuff in it which does feel very period...

B ut hey, whatever works!

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

1. HOLY SHIT THAT IS BADASS!
2. Will this work with multiplayer as well? If I buy a game, is usually for the joy of LAN.
3. Is Europa Univeralis 3 better than 2?

1. Yes it is. And it gets so messed up by the end. The first time I did it, it took me three months to play through all the games, and it ended up that America was founded in India by the Byzantines, then conquered by Russians. America currently comprises Southern India, Sri Lanka, and Yemen, and is 100% Russian ethnicity. Plus, the Danes rule all of Africa, and Britain is a hardcore communist state with the biggest and most advanced army in the world. They managed to get attack helicopters in 1937, and invented jet fighters in 1941.

2. I don't know, actually. You can save Multiplayer games, so I'm going to assume yes, but you'd do well to check that.

3. In my opinion, yes. It's got much better combat, a lot more provinces, and is generally a huge improvement. However, that doesn't mean that EU2 is at all bad, even after playing 3.

I'm not sure if you can do that thing with the exporting games for EU3 or HOI3 though. I don't think so.

So we can basically use Rome: Total War to effectivily recreate a different history? Really? - Glistened with glee -

I know Discovery Channel and the like used RTW to stimulate historic battles that actually took place. Either way, this game sounds certainly interested if you play it in the manner they just described!

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

headshotcatcher:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

GloatingSwine:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

No. It's overcomplicated (all the slider automation that was gradually added by Doomsday and Armageddon is gone, so it's all back to micromanagement hell), broken (ever seen Operation Overlord performed solo by Mexico? You can in HoI3 because the AI gets to ignore transport distance limits), inaccurate (Stalingrad is about 100 miles south of it's real location), and dull.

Get Arsenal of Democracy instead, it's Hearts of Iron 2 still, but with significant improvements to, well, just about everything.

The only thing HoI3 really does better is lines of supply.

Oh, and all the things that Hearts of Iron 3 really needs to fix it are being released in a paid for expansion. Joy.

Ah. I alos saw Europa Universalis 3 and like the setting of that game and the idea of that game more. Is it good?

Europa Universalis 3 is... ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!

Seriously, Hearts Of Iron 3 (1936-1948), Europa Universalis 3 (1399-1821) AND Victoria (1836-1920 something) taught me a lot about the world, granted, I had very little knowledge of the world before I played the games but still!

Alrighty. Well if nobody has anything else to say then I'll probably be getting that :)

Do it, I've sunk well over 1000 hours in it I think.. Highest other one is probably like 400 in tf2 :)

Furburt:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

1. HOLY SHIT THAT IS BADASS!
2. Will this work with multiplayer as well? If I buy a game, is usually for the joy of LAN.
3. Is Europa Univeralis 3 better than 2?

1. Yes it is. And it gets so messed up by the end. The first time I did it, it took me three months to play through all the games, and it ended up that America was founded in India by the Byzantines, then conquered by Russians. America currently comprises Southern India, Sri Lanka, and Yemen, and is 100% Russian ethnicity. Plus, the Danes rule all of Africa, and Britain is a hardcore communist state with the biggest and most advanced army in the world. They managed to get attack helicopters in 1937, and invented jet fighters in 1941.

2. I don't know, actually. You can save Multiplayer games, so I'm going to assume yes, but you'd do well to check that.

3. In my opinion, yes. It's got much better combat, a lot more provinces, and is generally a huge improvement. However, that doesn't mean that EU2 is at all bad, even after playing 3.

I'm not sure if you can do that thing with the exporting games for EU3 or HOI3 though. I don't think so.

1. is hilarious. I'll probably be getting EU 3 though if it's that muich better. Thank you very much.

Furburt:
Wow, that's coincidental, because Hearts of Iron II was basically the game that taught me political geography. I can point out where any country on earth is on a map, name every country, and name their capitals because of this game.

Well, that's good for them. It's a great game, regardless. I spent literally the entire summer of 2007 playing nothing else but this game. The disk never left my drive.

I guess I need this, then; I'm absolutely dreadful at geography....

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

1. is hilarious. I'll probably be getting EU 3 though if it's that muich better. Thank you very much.

From an EU2 player - There is one problem with EU3, and that is that all nations behave a-historically - So there is very little to learn from EU3. I'd recommend EU2 with this mod:

http://www.agceep.net/introduction.htm

Things are much closer to history that way - Though that's not the important thing for most gamers.

Unrelated that - Using medieval 2 as a teaching tool about the middle ages makes as much sense as using oblivion to teach about the industrial revolution.

Tarrok:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

1. is hilarious. I'll probably be getting EU 3 though if it's that muich better. Thank you very much.

From an EU2 player - There is one problem with EU3, and that is that all nations behave a-historically - So there is very little to learn from EU3. I'd recommend EU2 with this mod:

http://www.agceep.net/introduction.htm

Things are much closer to history that way - Though that's not the important thing for most gamers.

Unrelated that - Using medieval 2 as a teaching tool about the middle ages makes as much sense as using oblivion to teach about the industrial revolution.

Thanks!

Furburt:

The Amazing Tea Alligator:
Is HoI 3 any good?

Yes, it's probably the best of them all, but you need a really good computer (Much higher than the one it asks for in the system specs), and it's still quite glitchy. If you get past those, it's brilliant.

Not true, I'm on a 4 year old laptop and it runs flawlessly. No slow downs or anything.

Win7
Core 2 Duo
Nvidia Go 7950 GTX
2GB RAM

I wonder if he thought them how to play the game first, since being player skill would effect the "resources" of the nation, and hence the geo-politic.

Darkside360:

Not true, I'm on a 4 year old laptop and it runs flawlessly. No slow downs or anything.

Win7
Core 2 Duo
Nvidia Go 7950 GTX
2GB RAM

Wow, you lucky bastard you. Maybe it's Win 7. I have XP, and it chugged. That is, until I got a good user fix.

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

1. is hilarious. I'll probably be getting EU 3 though if it's that muich better. Thank you very much.

Also, I just bought Arsenal of Democracy based on the recommendation of the other fellow in the thread. It's very good. I'd recommend getting that over getting HOI2 normal version.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here