Friday, October 30, 2015

Extra History

The term "history lesson" conjures up images of long lists of names and dates, dusty library shelves, and research papers. Certainly not every opportunity to learn some history is like that, but a lot of folks think of it that way. If you want to get people interested in learning, it helps to overcome that stereotype right off the bat.
Extra History makes history lessons instantly entertaining. The Extra History YouTube videos use animation (mostly hand-drawn) and excellent narration to explain historical events. If you've ever watched Extra Credits, the game design video series, the format will look very familiar because it's the same crew behind the show.

I've watched four of the series thus far:

  • Rome: The Punic Wars
  • World War I: The Seminal Tragedy
  • England: South Sea Bubble
  • Warring States Japan: Sengoku Jidai
And there are four more that I haven't yet watched, as of the time I'm writing this.

Each series is in the general vicinity of 30-45 minutes, broken up into episodes that are around 8-12 minutes each. As you can tell from the series topics I've listed, they're covering a lot of ground in each one. The Extra History folks do a great job of covering key points without overdoing it on the details, and making it entertaining all the way. I also like that they do a "Lies" episode at the end, explaining where they made mistakes or purposely glossed over some parts in order to keep things moving.

The videos are free to watch on YouTube, but I encourage anyone who enjoys the series to consider supporting them on Patreon. For those not familiar with Patreon, it's sort of a pay-what-you-want subscription service. You choose what amount to donate monthly, and there are various perks depending on how much you pledge. Almost 3000 people are supporting Extra History. I really like this model, since it keeps the content available for folks who can't afford to pay, while the creator gets support from those of us who can afford it.

I highly recommend Extra History to anyone, whether you're usually interested in looking back to the past or not. You'll definitely be entertained, and there's a good chance you'll learn something at the same time.

No comments:

Post a Comment