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This professor teaches American history with a video game, Red Dead Redemption

Images from Rockstar and Tore C. Olsson.

The new book Red Dead's History: A Video Game, an Obsession, and America's Violent Past is about “the most-played digital renditions of American history since The Oregon Trail.”

It's been called "Grand Theft Auto with horses," and this open-world game created by the same company does have some things in common with GTA. But it also has a strong historical basis, even if it isn't always accurate to the letter, or the decade.

Olsson has been teaching an American history course based on the video game called "Red Dead America" at the University of Tennessee since 2021.

His book is out from St. Martin's Press in August. The forthcoming audio book is narrated by voice actor Roger Clark who portrayed the game's main character Arthur Morgan.

-Tore C. Olsson is an Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies for American History at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the author of a book coming out in August 2024 – Red Dead's History: A Video Game, an Obsession, and America's Violent Past

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Cole del Charco is an audio producer and writer based in Durham. He's made stories for public radio's All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Marketplace. Before joining Due South, he spent time as a freelance journalist, an education and daily news reporter for WUNC, and a podcast producer for WFAE in Charlotte.