The acclaimed Red Dead Redemption 2 will now be part of a university curriculum to teach the history behind the decline of the Wild West in the United States.
Taking to Twitter last week, history professor Tore Olsson announced that he will be teaching a new course called “Red Dead America” at the University of Tennessee in fall. He hailed developer Rockstar Games for accurately addressing a number of crucial historical issues and exclaimed why Red Dead Redemption 2 (as well as the first Red Dead Redemption game) will help explore “the historical reality behind” the Western-themed franchise.
Who says video games don’t belong in the classroom? I’m a history professor at @UTKnoxville. This fall, I’ll be teaching a new course titled “HIUS 383: Red Dead America,” exploring the historical reality behind @RockstarGames’ series. What kinds of topics will we be exploring? /1 pic.twitter.com/wkaHSvz4E4
— Tore Olsson (@ToreCarlOlsson) February 11, 2021
Olsson noted a number of aspects that Red Dead Redemption 2 portrays right while also reminding that games are usually historically inaccurate. Rockstar Games however “skillfully” approached matters like “the expansion of monopoly capitalism and how railroads extended corporate power” between 1899 and 1911.
He further added “the astounding inequalities in wealth, the Mexican revolution, the stereotypes of Appalachian degeneracy and poverty, the privatization of law enforcement through the Pinkerton detective agency” and many other “biggest historical dilemmas from the era” which will all be part of the said Red Dead America course at the University of Tennessee.
Olsson will be starting his classes in August and confirmed that the course is currently capped at just 35 students. That being said, if more students show interest by enrolling themselves, he will try to expand the size of his class before the start of the semester.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was released in 2018 to a stellar reception. The game has sold over 36 million units worldwide since its debut across all platforms, including PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X where players make use of backwards compatibility. Rockstar Games has recently been rumored to be upgrading the game for a pure next-generation experience. That and a remake of the original Red Dead Redemption.