Talk about an A for effort.
A middle school teacher is being praised online for using a widely popular historical-fiction video game to teach ancient Greek history in an engaging and immersive way.
Educator and TikTok sensation Mr. Mahathey, who has shared many tween-friendly videos on his feed, posted a clip of himself playing “Assassin’s Creed: Oddessey” in front of his students.
The purpose was to break down the battle of Thermopylae, a key conflict of the Grecco-Persian War in 480 BC which was made re-famous by Gerard Butler, a.k.a. King Leonidas, and his band of bloodthirsty Spartans in the film “300.”
Showing a bird’s eye view of the battlefield in his video seen more than 2 million times, Mr. Mahathey explained where the Greek forces were stationed and how they planned to stifle King Xerxes’ massive Persian army.
The Greek leader planned to engage in fighting at a rugged and narrow pass of sulfur springs known as “hot gates” to cut off their overwhelming numbers.
It’s something a group of seventh- and eighth-grade social studies students now know better than most adults, thanks to the stimulating lesson.
In the comments of Mr. Mahathey’s video, he was lauded for an approach that quite literally brought history back to life.
“I would 100 percent pay way more attention if my teacher did this,” one user commented.
“This is how teaching should be done,” another added. “Creating a teaching style that students can relate to, and engage with.”
“Using a game to make history more [tangible] to your class is brilliant and fun,” added another.
“Gotta keep them engaged somehow!” the teacher replied.
Someone else commented that the lesson was a ruse for Mr. Mahathey to just play video games in class, to which he replied, “It was a win-win situation.”
Others said that the games — which have spanned historical periods like the Renaissance, Ottoman Empire, and both the American and French Revolutions, along with many more eras — helped boost their grades, knowledge and worldliness as well.
“I remember I passed a history test about the Boston Tea Party in middle school after playing AC3,” one viewer recalled of the 2012 title.
Someone else said they were given homework to play “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” to better understand the French Revolution as an unorthodox educational resource.
Another TikToker commented that they would have loved history much more had it been approached with video games and excitement in school.
Mr. Mahathey wrote back, “History is just one big story — have to treat it like one!”
Perhaps he was simply following the namesake’s “creed” of the game:
“Everything is permitted.”