Monday, 1 October 2012

Gettysburg, the map, and modern times

An old friend just sent me word that the "Electric Map" at the visitor's centre at the Gettysburg battlefield will be dismantled and moved to Hanover, PA. He quoted someone from the Parks Service saying that the map was not interesting to many people because they were used to video games. Maybe so. I always loved the old beast and sat through the show almost everytime I visited the battlefield. You had a bird's eye view of the battle field and saw how things developed day by day and sometimes hour by hour.

Maybe it is irrelevant to a video game generation. I lacked graphics and movement and sometimes detail. It was Christmas lights on a painted topographical map, but it showed the "big picture" of the battle. Well, it will still exist for a time. Hanover is near-by and had a very important role in the campaign. (Where was the Army of Northern Virginia headed? To Hanover, for shoes. There's more than that, of course, but Hanover has long had and still has shoe factories and when your troops have no shoes... )

The map was/is "old school". It will never be as "sexy" as Halo. But where else do you have a ringside seat to an entire campaign?

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