Argentina 1985: Contested Memories

Game in Development | Available to Download

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As this game begins, a six-year long military dictatorship has finally ended (October 1983), the democratically elected President Raúl Alfonsín has now formed a government, a Truth Commission has issued its devastating report of human rights abuses, and the generals who led the military rule from 1976-1983 are going on trial.

As the nation is beginning to address its recent past, Argentina 1985 takes place in a high school that is also asking how to respond to the social unrest in its own history and culture. Players in this game take the role of school Authorities (a teacher, prefect, and an alumnus) and fifth-year students (equivalent to U.S. high school seniors). They must investigate the school’s past, pose possible responses to this past, and vote on a “Memory Project” that seems the most beneficial to the entire school community.

The players have been by-standers to political violence, but all have some intellectual formation and/or experiences that have shaped their perceptions. All start with some sort of framework for making sense of the past. They will be challenged to decide if a memorial, a truth commission, or a trial of wrong-doers is the best way to respond to the school’s past. Or perhaps they will decide that doing nothing, keeping the past in the past, is the best choice.

About the Author:

Mary Jane Treacy is Professor Emerita of Spanish and Women's Studies at Simmons College, where she was also Director of the Honors Program. She has published Campo abierto: lecturas sociopolíticas de Latinoamérica as well as studies on narrations of war, violence, and memory in Central and South America. Her current project centers on conquest and memory in colonial Cuba.