Max Cronkite

Field of Research:
Game-Based Learning
Professor Marc Saurette

Reason For Participating

I-CUREUS seemed, and has proven to be, a great opportunity for me to pursue research in a field that I have a lot of interest. I started work on this project for my undergraduate thesis and was happy to be able to continue work on it with I-CUREUS.


I have been building off of the work done last year on the project, which provides a resource to encourages players/students/players to engage in critical discussion (both ‘in’ and ‘out’ of character) about the complex relationships between the competing different social spheres networks that existed in 6th sixth-century Frankish Gaul. I have been fine tuning some game mechanics, introducing new ones, as well as doing further primary and secondary research on the topic of sixth-century Frankish Gaul.

Before the start of the class (HIST 3005) in the Winter semester, I helped prepare it and make sure character sheets were complete and the rulebook for students was clear and up to date.

My project will try to achieve a balance between successfully disseminating course content and making the game enjoyable. With game-based learning projects, maintaining this balance is crucial for engaging player/students as well as making it a useful course.

The goal of my research is to build a game-based university course that successfully teaches Merovingian social and power structures through ‘informed role-playing’.

Relation to Studies

Researching different methods of course structure and learning, my research has given me a new outlook on the courses I take at Carleton.

I have been more confident in using ideas about game-based learning and sixth-century Frankish Gaul in the classroom, trying to apply the theories of learning to my other classes when possible.

Dealing with new forms of learning and teaching, I have approached my classes differently, and have been more intensely looking at the structure of the course for its benefits and downsides. It has given me appreciation for well-structured courses.

Value of Experience

Probably time management. Doing a full course load, working with multiple societies, and doing this research have taught me how to manage my time efficiently. Independence and personal drive have been the two things that I have gained from this opportunity that I would not have in a normal classroom setting.

To Future Participants

It is the best chance you will have to get an idea of how professional research is conducted early on in your academic career. From presenting, to working closely with professors, to time scheduling, I-CUREUS prepares you for a future in academia.