Through reading primary documents and works by historians, students gain an understanding of why and how post–World War II events such as the arms race and the decolonization movement provided the circumstances in which the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. came to see developing nations as the central battlefield of the Cold War. They also study how this contest between the two superpowers significantly shaped the formation of new post-colonial states through a variety of interventions ranging from technical and military assistance, and economic aid, to direct military intervention, and armed covert operations. Students use what they have learned to design a video game that highlights multiple viewpoints in order to understand the importance of perspective in the construction of history.
Students work in teams to design a video game based on a U.S. and Soviet intervention during the Cold War. To ensure the historical accuracy of their video game ideas, students first write a background research paper. In their papers, students state the reasons behind the conflict, the objectives of each opposing side, and the strategies used to advance those objectives. Finally, students use their research to come up with their own video game ideas, record them in a video game concept document, and present the ideas to the class.