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Educational VR App ‘HistoryMaker VR’ Has Students Performing As Famous Figures From U.S. History

Select a character, customize your stage, and deliver an impactful speech taken straight from the history books.

They say there’s no better way to learn more about a person than to put yourself in their shoes. HistoryMaker VR takes this saying to heart, allowing students to play the role of a famous figure from United States history and perform an historic monologue from a fully-customizable set.

According to developer Schell Games (I Expect you To Die, Until You Fall), HistoryMaker VR is intended for middle school-aged students as an educational content creation tool designed to increase retention through VR-powered active learning.

The idea is that by having students actively participate in the experience by playing the role of a famous figure, they’ll retain more information than they would simply reading about it from a textbook. Schell Games says the app can be seamlessly integrated into learning plans, offering a desktop complement to assist those new to VR.

“We wanted to create something that not only allows students to learn, but, more importantly, experience the words on the page. So often, reading about people and events from the past feels hollow, because it’s difficult to relate,”  said Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games. “With HistoryMaker VR, we hope to fill that void and make history learning interactive and engaging.”

Players can select from a variety of famous figures from throughout U.S. history, ranging all the way back to the 1700’s. Playable figures include:

  • Abigail Adams
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • George Washington Carver
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Clemens)
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Tecumseh

Once a character has been selected, students can then customize their set based on their character and one of the pre-loaded sample scripts and activities provided by Schell Games. This includes a handful of backdrops, a green screen, and a variety of props which can be placed anywhere on the stage, meaning no two sets will ever look the same.

Once they’ve finished building out their set. players can then record their performance with the help of several nifty features. While performing, players can enable Mirror Mode, allowing them to view their movements in real-time and adjust their performance if need be. Players can also record multiple takes before exporting their performance and sharing it with the rest of the class.

HistoryMaker VR launches August 13th on SteamVR for $9.99. In an effort to expand VR’s presence in the classroom, the app will be available free to educators upon release.

Image Credit: Schell Games

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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