This week, our readings focused on what digital history can add to the field. These elements including visualizations (which is a complicated concept, as we learned) and even extending history beyond the concept of finding your untouched archive and examining a limited amount of time and space. Digital history, from what I have seen this week and throughout my budding career, expands opportunities for historians and the field of history.
But one other aspect from this class is that these expansions from digital history can be problematic, or rather very, very complicated. Staley’s Computers, Visualization, and History was one of the works that I struggled with, as the idea of a visualization is still sort of unclear after all is said and done. Our discussions on virtual reality, augmented reality, and even illustrations makes it difficult to picture what this could look like. I feel that next week’s works on space may help put this into perspective.
Another aspect that I found very interesting this week was the importance of the visual to our culture. We discussed in class how images, movies, and anything visual has more impact in our culture today, and this is important to consider when we’re working on history in the future. How does/can the visual culture influence how we work? Is this important to consider with the visualizations and whatever else might appear in our works? I do not yet have the answer, but I am tentatively saying yes. I feel that visualizations could add a certain something element to my work, especially considering the visual nature of my research on video games.
If there is one thing that I am getting from this class, it is most certainly the fact that it is making me think and wrap my head around what all of this means. Since we are reading so many books about the opportunities of digital history and what can be done with it, it is very interesting to think about what can be done, what will be done, and how to do them.