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The Civil War Experience by SouthPeak Interactive is created in conjunction with the History Channel and the Civil War Trust. This CD compiles a vast amount of Civil War information and augments it with historical black and white photographs, eyewitness accounts, video clips from the Civil War Journal (a History Channel Civil War documentary series), interactive battle maps, pertinent historical speeches, music, and more.
This intricate CD is divided into six key sections: Road to the War, Daily Lives, Troops and Battles, People, Politics of War, and Legacy of War. Within each section are 3-14 related subsections. For example, The Road to War has 14 major subsections. Some of these include: Slavery and abolition, the Compromise of 1850, the Dred Scott decision. In the People section 150 political, military, and civilians are concisely chronicled. If you are bored with reading factual data then test your retention by taking a trivia test or play one of two games available (Blockade runner or the Cannon game) - you might have to be really bored though!
The CD wisely provides you with a quick tour of how the information is organized. To further assist you there are always the Navigator button, Search by keyword, or Help tabs. If you are confused just return to the main menu. A Scroll button, Fast scroll, and End /beginning arrow are provided for quick, quicker, quickest passage through printed content. The Copy/print button allows you to print out personal copies of photos and information to use in reports or for easy reference. A Timeline calendar pinpoints exact dates and events. You can click on a day and go directly to the related content. Background music can be turned off and there are three audio volume setting options available. The Web site provides updates on upcoming living history or web site events, contemporary articles of interest, contains forums and chats with noted Civil War experts, links to other pertinent sites, and databases of resources.
Although our reviewers did not find this as emotionally captivating as SouthPeak's Ellis Island Experience, it is certainly as well-organized and comprehensive in its refined presentation of quality information. It tries to mix the heavy factual data with some lighter topics (fashion, manners, food, songs, strategy) and throws in a couple of "games" for a quick break. The auditory "accounts" and "enactments" are realistic and interesting. Again they try to engage on several levels.
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium 133 or faster cpu, 32 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, 16-bit Windows compatible sound card, mouse or other pointing device, [optional] Internet access.return to top of page
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