During winter break 2022 Charlie Solomon ’25 worked with Austin Mason, Assistant Director of the Humanities Center for Digital Humanities and Lecturer in History, on a research project for the educational video game The Migrants’ Chronicles: 1892. Charlie shared his experience with the Humanities Center.
“Over break, I worked with Professor Mason on The Migrants’ Chronicles: 1892, an educational video game to teach middle-school-age children about historical immigration to the US. The video game is being developed in conjunction with the University of Luxembourg and Cologne Game Lab at Technische Hochschule Köln. My contributions to the project primarily revolve around doing historical research for background data that goes into the game. Previously, when I worked on this project over the summer and last spring, I researched railway and steamship routes, as well as transit costs and times. With that aspect mostly finished, this break I specifically worked on finding background images and information to give to the artists working on the project–finding historical material so they could create scenes for the game. I used resources such as the Library of Congress digital archive to find images of cities taken or drawn in the 1890s, and researched more generally how people lived in specific cities during this time – the architecture, how people got around, etc. Working on the project this break, I learned firstly a lot about the history of cities like Boston, Chicago, and New York in the late 1800s. Besides facts, however, I learned valuable skills such as how to utilize online databases and the internet more generally to find historical documents and pictures; as well as how to work as one piece of a larger, multi-country research team.”