HistoryTelling and Convergence Culture

As a life-long player of historical simulations and games, I have long been interested in the ways in which games can be used as a narrative medium about history. I've called this HistoryTelling and spoken about the ways in which it has been attempted and also about how I think it might work with digital games.

Well, I was interested to read that HistoryTelling is meeting convergence culture via an announced collaboration between The History Channel and Kuma Games reported by Bryan Enk at UGO. You can read about it here. It is worth noting here that The History Channel has also explored HistoryTelling via machinima in its use of the game Rome: Total War to render historical battles for its Decisive Battles program.

What I find interesting is the model as described in Enk's report -- you first watch the show, then you "provide viewers/players with the experience of being in the midst of a battle through the eyes of those who actually participated in the event." How much latitude will the game designers give to you the viewer? Will you be able to rewrite history or just get the first-person view? Will the game stick to the insights offered by the show, or possibly allow you to work out something differently with data or actions provided? I wonder what changes when the switch is not from the academic monograph to the media experience (as has long been offered by film, novels, tv, etc.), but from one media experience (television) to another (game)? I am looking forward, in other words, to finding out more about how Kuma's games will extend the television presentation.