Staff promote War Studies and History degrees at SALUTE convention
University of Wolverhampton academics attended a high-profile gaming convention recently to promote undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in History, Politics and War Studies.
Dr Howard Fuller, Reader in War Studies, along with by Professor John Buckley and Dr Adam Dighton, staged an elaborate wargame display at the 50th anniversary of SALUTE, Europe's largest war gaming convention.
Dr Fuller, a widely-published historian who leads modules on the Pax Britannica, American Civil War, and naval/maritime history, ran the unique, University-hosted wargames event, 'Fact meets Fiction', 'History meets Literature'-themed game: 'Captain Nemo versus The Battle of Mobile Bay' (1864).
Participation at the event was funded by the University’s Centre for Historical Research.
Dr Fuller said: “Demo-game displays at events such as SALUTE draw attention to the event's sponsor (mostly game and miniatures vendors) and we were really pleased to be represented. The team was the only University present and we demonstrated how studying at Wolverhampton entails a variety of educational experiences and classroom techniques, from gaming and other historical simulations to exciting field-trips.
“Without a doubt, higher education can be made all the more appealing to target audiences by making subjects interactive, imaginative, and fun as well as informative.
“Our attendance at the event resulted in a surge of public interest in the University's degree programmes and academic research thanks to the demo-game, specialised University gazebo, video displays, and promotional handout materials.
“Many ‘respectable’ academics and serious-minded military history scholars are avid wargamers whether they admit it or not; from table-top miniatures to boardgames to videogames. Myself and some of my colleagues in the Department of History, Politics and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton have been gaming for years as well as incorporating ‘historical simulations’ in our classes.
“This year, on the occasion of SALUTE’s 50th Anniversary, we wanted to up our game by mixing 19th-century military history with 19th-century fiction. After all, literature has a way of tweaking reality to make us see things more clearly—or at least get our attention when we perhaps take things for granted.”
Attendance at the event, held at the London Excel Centre, was over 5,300. A surge of public interest was generated in the University's degree programmes and academic research as a result of the demo-game, specialised University gazebo, video displays, and promotional handout materials.
Staff were reacquainted with former University of Wolverhampton graduates at this event who had subsequently enrolled in the Department’s BA Hons War Studies and MA in Military History degree-programmes, following similar demo-games run by Dr Fuller at previous SALUTE conventions.
The University’s distinctive exhibit at SALUTE 50 (2023) is currently gaining further traction on social media and YouTube. The industry’s most popular publication, Wargames Illustrated, now features it in The Best of Salute 50: Part II (mark 16:02).
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