A simplified causal model for our game


The lessons we drew from the responses to our survey were:

  1. that the relationship between demographic growth, natural resources (food and energy), and economic change was the most accessible model to understand the conditions that made the Industrial Revolution possible in England.
  2. that teaching the Industrial Revolution required addressing both the contribution of the Empire to British economic development and the human and economic consequences of colonial expansion. We decided to devote some time at each of our workshops to this question.

We will come back to the second point (empire and slavery) in a future post, but we want first to address the conceptual model of causal relations that students should be able to infer by playing the game. Our starting point was the model described by E.A. Wrigley in his 2010 Energy and the English Industrial Revolution. We added several missing factors to the model (transport, invention, etc.) and created a first diagram, summarising three key contributions in the recent literature by Wrigley, Allen and Mokyr.

It is obvious that our game would not be able to capture all these relations, and we decided to focus, first, on a simplified version of Wrigley’s model for our prototype. The version we retained is illustrated below. The boxes in orange are the game metrics (what students see as the result from their actions) and can be tracked during the game.



Industrial Re:evolution

Industrial Re:evolution is a dynamic puzzle game teaching the causes of the Industrial Revolution.