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What got your interest in history?

Discussion in 'World History' started by mech654, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. mech654

    mech654 Prince

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    Hi everyone, I am curiosity what got you interested in history. For me, it was Age of Empires II. I played it when I was ~10 yrs old. I was enthralled by the different historical personalities, particularly Saladin and Barbarossa. I really loved the cut scenes and sometimes I ran the game so I could listened to them. Now my interest has moved to modern history.
     
  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    My late grandfather gave me a historical world atlas once, and I loved looking through it, checking out which tribes settled where, which armies went which way during important historic campaigns, how nations formed, changed, etc. I would look through that book, from first page to last, every couple months. I still have it lying on my bookshelf.
     
  3. Leifmk

    Leifmk Deity

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    The specific origin of my interest is lost in the mists of time, but it began in early childhood -- both my parents worked, and daycare centers were nonexistent in rural Norway in the 1970s, so when my parents were at work I was looked after by a great-aunt who lived nearby. This great-aunt worked part time running a small library branch next to her house, so I would hang out with her in there. Learned to read by age 4, exhausted the locally available children's books not too long after that, went on to a selection of books intended for older readers (vetted by my great-aunt as not being immoral or anything). Lots and lots of nonfiction -- travelogues, popular science, history, etc.
     
  4. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    I dunno. I was maybe five or six at the time. My friend's dad and grandfather were big into WWII reenactments, and we liked old movies on that war. He also had a crapton of toy soldiers that we loved to play with. My interest evolved over the years from just WW2 to modern wars in general to medieval wars to things other than just war all the time, like now.

    I don't really think knowing history's useful beyond the basics of the last century or two, and in preventing nationalists and apologists from using warped history to indoctrinate others, but it's an interesting hobby.
     
  5. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    Civ IV did it for me. Before that I was more interested in automobiles and other stuff.

    Dunno why I picked up on it. One day I just read the Civlopedia and was hooked reading about each of the civilizations. Then I moved to Wikipedia, and then to real books.

    And I think history is useful! Sure, the farther back you go the less relevance it has to the modern world, and you sure as hell aren't going to predict the future with it. But stories are always interesting! And knowing what has happened, and why it happened, is the story of mankind. It informs the human experience.

    Or something along those lines. I still don't have a great a way of expressing history's usefulness.
     
  6. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    Yeah, it can't help us much with the future, despite the trite saying about repeating mistakes. History beyond yestercentury is mostly either useless or only really useful in combating misconceptions about humanity and people, be it simple ignorance or, more sinister, nationalist and racist myths taught to indoctrinate people for a given purpose, like nationalists claiming that they need to "retake" land by force because of long-past historical events that justify their aggression, or racists claiming that Africa is underdeveloped because Africans are inherently inferior or something. If you know your history, you can refute that. But that's about it, and that's one of the reasons that language is starting to overtake history as my main interest.
     
  7. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    I got interested in history largely through the same way as other people here, video games (Rise of Nations, Rome:Total War, and Civ4).

    My interest in post-colonial Africa largely came about through two sources: fellow posters on here and video games. (The video game, funnily enough, was Far Cry 2. I realized I knew basically nothing about the Cold War in Africa and probably should know something about it.)
    After reading Shake Hands with the Devil, the memoirs of Romeo Daillaire, who was the UN Peacekeeper Commander in Rwanda during the genocide, I was fascinated by the area. I did some more reading, learned about the Congo Crisis of 1961, and ended up writing my senior seminar paper on the role of ethnicity in the secession of Katanga during the Congo Crisis.

    tl;dr: Video games. Turns out they can be good for something.
     
  8. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    It's hard to believe, but at some point in time there were no videogames.

    I'd have to say Indians. Or Native Americans, as one calls them nowadays. When I was in primary school there was a weekly magazine you could subscribe to, featuring different subjects of interest. I collected the articles on Indians and put them in a scrapbook, I think. (My mom saved that for years, but I'm afraid it's now lost.) When in 6th grade we still had to learn the dreaded timetables. (Of which my dad only remembered one thing: 1600 Battle of Nieuwpoort.) Completely pointless, but that's how it was. :hatsoff:
     
  9. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    Civ (the first one) was certianly a massive influence on my young impressionable mind (I was probably about 9-10 when I first played it), but my interest was probably completely fixed by the fact I had a couple of really good history teachers in my first years of secondary school who made the subject fascinating. I hated writing essays too much to take it beyond GCSEs in an academic sense, but ever since then I've loved reading about it.
     
  10. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

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    I was always somewhat interesting in history, especially when I was in high school and playing civil war games

    Decades passed, then one of my bosses gave me Ben Franklin's biography for Christmas. That rekindled everything, only with an emphasis on the American Revolution.
     
  11. sydhe

    sydhe King of Kongs

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    Don't know, but it may have been Walter Cronkite's program "You Are There" which aired when I was small.
     
  12. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    I don't know, but it happened early -- I remember the first day of fourth grade (age 8, 9) trying to find my history book in the stack of new books on the first day of term, to see what we'd be learning that year. I think I must have been wooed early by the Pyramids or such. It's a love fed through the years by mountains of books and more than a few video games!
     
  13. privatehudson

    privatehudson The Ultimate Badass

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    I think I've always been interested in military history and history in general from an early age. My parents took me around a lot of western Europe and would visit museums and battle sites on every holiday. When I grew up I found I shared that interest and love of history, so started to look into it more, especially local and family history.
     
  14. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    George Friedman's "The Next 100 Years" when I was about 12 or 13. The book removed my impression of countries as gigantic, inscrutable entities. I could see how they lived, how geography and people explained each state. From there it was just a matter of detail.
     
  15. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    I took a required course at my university, which led to a second, then a change of major, then a degree...

    I just find it interesting.

    Very.
     
  16. Ice_Tyrant

    Ice_Tyrant Prince

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    My earliest memory regarding "history" is sitting in elementary school bored and reading ahead in my history textbook about the American Revolution. I specifically remember the Boston Massacre, and how it was portrayed as the British deciding to just up and murder some dudes for no reason at all.

    My discovery of Wikipedia in middle school while I was doing a project in a computer class to make a powerpoint about the Civil War was probably a big thing too. I was (and still am) a loner, so I used to just read wikipedia history articles for fun.

    Eventually my reading of the history textbooks on my own encouraged me to play Medieval: Total War. The detailed descriptions that game gave to all the nations you could play as before you started, along with the just the entire game itself fascinated me. Caused me to learn a lot about a lot of different nations in the world.

    Then eventually I found Civ4 and decided to play my first game of China. This all lead to a miserable college life as a History/Asian studies double major. Almost was a Chinese major but I failed pretty bad at getting that to happen.
     
  17. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    My real interest in history was sparked primarily by a really good teacher I had for global history for 9th grade. He was a fantastic story teller, knew the details, people, and the relationships between events really well, and remains the best teacher I've ever had, including college professors. Starting with that course, history became my favorite subject throughout my high school years, and I've continued to be interested in history since then.

    Other factors included an interest in geography that predated that - I'd spend lots of time looking through atlases when growing up - as well as historical games. I started playing Civ3 a few months before my really good history class started, and while they did complement each other, the really good instructors was what really got me interested in history.
     
  18. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    That's a good point about having a "really good teacher," Quint. Everyone has to take History in school at some point, and most find it boring. But one can become electrified by a mentor who lights your fires.
     
  19. abradley

    abradley Deity

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    When I as young history was a popular subject for movies and novels, most my favorite movies were historical.

    Learned to like history.
     
  20. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    Oh very much. As I mentioned above, the same was true for me. Particularly the teacher I had in the first year of secondary school - when we were studying the Battle of Hastings, instead of just getting us to read books or listen to lectures, he had us get a bunch of costumes and toy swords and recreate the battle on the school playing fields. And I've been hooked since. I can't think of many better ways to get a 11 year old boy to like something school related than letting him run around with a sword during a lesson.
     

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