Hajj Trail

Gaming the Hajj

About the Simulation

The Hajj Trail is a free-to-play text and image-based digital storytelling tool designed to introduce students to the history of the early modern Ottoman Empire and the Islamic World [circa 1500-1800 CE] through an historical simulation of the hajj journey. The simulation itself based off travel accounts and early modern pilgrimage narratives. It is designed to be used in the classroom as a different medium in which students can interact with the history of the early modern Muslim world. Currently in its beta stage, we hope to add improvements to The Hajj Trail throughout the coming year. The first stage of the simulation takes students along the hajj route from Istanbul to Mecca in the year 1671 with events, locations, and time of travel all based off various pilgrimage narratives (mainly the hajj accounts and itineraries of Yusuf Rumi, Evliya Çelebi, Yusuf Nabi, and Qutb al-Din al-Nahrawali). The plan is to slowly expand the simulation choices over the coming years to have options for pilgrimage routes from Morocco, Iran, and India as well. The educational goal of this digital storytelling tool is to spark student interest in the history of the region by introducing them to the images, stories, and locations related to travel in the early modern Muslim World and the Ottoman Empire in particular. The simulation acts like a choose your own adventure as you make choices along the way on what to do and which roads to take. Historical background information is added to each stop and includes quotes from primary sources to give students a sense of what living and traveling in the early modern world was like. This passion project is designed to make the history of the early modern Ottoman Empire, Muslim World, and Hajj more accessible to students (at the High School and University level) and the public at large.