The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996 Page: 573
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PAULA MITCHELL MARKS, Editor
The Alamo: "Victory or Death." (Dallas: Archimedia Interactive, 1995- $59.95, CD-
To the highbrowed horror of so many who cherish the printed word, the in-
evitability of computer-driven multimedia videos supplanting books and other
reading matter seems like bald proof of postmodern culture's utter corruption
at the hands of electronic media. Worry not: books will always have a huge role
to play in creating (or at least attempting to create) a literate and enlightened
public. But within five or ten years an equally huge multibillion-dollar market
for CD-ROMs and multimedia productions on the Internet will make the per-
sonal computer the most popular, persuasive, and, therefore, effective medium
for educating children. For better and/or for worse, as hardware gets cheaper,
as processors get faster, as chip memory rises, and as software becomes so sophis-
ticated that its digitally enhanced full-color action surpasses Hollywood's most
outrageous special effects, the PC will engulf and replace television and the tele-
phone as the focus of unbridled attention in the home, office, and school of the
A potent taste of this future can be enjoyed by journeying into a presentation
of the past, an impressive CD-ROM that recreates the entire story of the siege of
the Alamo. The result of several years of technical and artistic effort (a process
that involved several of the best historians in the field), this is no ordinary multi-
media production. The complexity of its interactivity makes this CD-ROM a true
learning experience to be repeated again and again. A maze-like hierarchy of
possible selections, replete with authentic music and pungent sound effects,
sidebars providing explanatory text, and the compelling voices of narrators Sissy
Spacek, Dan Rather, Tess Harper, Linda Gray, Freddy Fender, Robert Earl Keen,
and Charley Pride, combine to produce a wide array of multimedia effects to en-
joy in multiple combinations. Effortlessly, the user can delve into the historical
background, discover the many colorful characters, and seek a firm understand-
ing of the pivotal effects leading up to and including the final battle and its af-
termath. A clear "gaming" element, most effective in the animated battle
sequences, will appeal to adults and children alike. All told, this CD-ROM offers
several hours of outstanding educational entertainment.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996, periodical, 1996; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101217/m1/651/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.