Historian and grandfather craft 3D school slavery game

Historians in the News
tags: Nelson Mundell, Douglas Dingwall

A historian has developed a computer game to engage a new generation of schoolchildren in the story of slavery.

Nelson Mundell created his Minecraft walk-through visualisation of an 18th-century Caribbean plantation with technical help from his 78-year-old grandfather, who had never heard of the game until he was asked for assistance by his grandson.

Douglas Dingwall, a former GP, spent 300 hours constructing the 3D computer representation that uses textured bricks and cubes, with assistance from his wife, Marion, also 78.

Mr Mundell hopes the new programme will provide history teachers and pupils with a novel way of exploring the period. Many 18th-century Scots took part in the trade — either as plantation owners or investors or managers — before its abolition in 1807. Mr Mundell said he approached his grandfather for help because of the creativity he had shown playing games with his family over many years.

“He’s always painted and he used to build forts for his kids and then for us. One Christmas I said to him ‘I’ve got an idea’, and he said OK and then went away. He researched all he needed to know about Minecraft even though he’d never been on the program before. He has loved the challenge.” ...

Read entire article at The Times (London)

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