Red Dead Redemption 2 Will Be Used to Teach American History

A history professor is to use Red Dead Redemption 2 as a teaching point, exploring the reality behind Rockstar’s cowboy sequel.

Professor Tore Olsson, who teaches history at the University of Tennessee, will be teaching a course entitled “HIUS 383: Red Dead America” which examines the realities, or otherwise, featured in RDR2’s world. Tweeting his intentions, Olsson noted:

“Though often historically inaccurate, the games skillfully broach a number of crucial historical issues in the 1899-1911 period…. the course is currently capped at 35, but if a long waitlist develops, I’ll work hard to expand the size.” The course will take place later this Autumn and seems set to be a physical course rather than a zoom-based one though we wouldn’t be surprised if it made its way online.

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It’s not the first time we’ve seen RDR 2 under the academic microscope. There’s a piece from last year that looks at how accurate the game’s representation of the ‘Wild’ West is. What’s particularly interesting about Red Dead Redemption 2 is that, like the original, this is a world where cowboys are a dying breed. There have been plenty of westerns but relatively few that cover the diminishing Wild West.

If you want more information about the course, we recommend you follow Professor Olsson on Twitter as the course isn’t yet on the University of Tennessee’s site.