History in VR is an unforgettable experience that makes learning fun.
This editorial is written by Felicia Miranda, a freelance technology journalist. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaVagabond. We hope this editorial helps you find the best VR content available!
Key moments in history, big and small alike, helped shape the world as we know it today. Previously, we flipped through textbooks and viewed documentaries, but thanks to virtual reality, we can now unravel history in a whole new way. Whether it’s making scientific discoveries about the universe or studying an event that turned into a catalyst for war, these Vive apps will give you a new perspective on some of the most impactful moments in history.
We Are Stars
Developer: NSC Creative
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “We’re all made from stars,” and the next thought that quickly comes to mind is something along the lines of, “Can that really be true?” We Are Stars answers that question and much more in one of the most entertaining and educational VR apps on Viveport.
We Are Stars takes you on a virtual journey through a billion years of evolution, where you’ll learn about some of the most mystifying aspects of our universe. The experience is enhanced by the brilliant narration of Andy Serkis, best known for his roles as Gollum from The Lord of the Rings and Caesar from Planet of the Apes. Serkis, in combination with the breath-taking 360 visuals, is sure to make a lasting impression as you explore the cosmos.
- Read our interview with Paul Mowbray, producer on We Are Stars
VR Terra-Cotta Warriors
Developer: Beijing Virtual Real Space Technology Co.
VR Terra-Cotta Warriors takes you on a trip through ancient China to get an up-close look at the life-sized terracotta statues built for Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. These statues, meant to protect the emperor in the afterlife, resemble various personnel from his army, including warriors, generals, and other military officials.
If you enjoy learning about history, then you know how frustrating it might be when you want to get a closer look at an exhibit at the museum. The best part of VR Terra-Cotta Warriors is that it feels like a mini museum without any of the barriers. I marveled at all the stunning details in the sculptures, from the texture of the clothes to the life-like features on each statue’s face. It’s a fascinating first-hand look at the statues that highlighted the burial practices of early China.
Remembering Pearl Harbor
Developer: LIFE VR
It’s been 75 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in respect for all the lives lost, LIFE VR and TIME put together a riveting VR experience called Remembering Pearl Harbor.
I explored this important part of history through the eyes, ears, and letters of lieutenant and postmaster, James Downing. Using his letters as a timeline, Remembering Pearl Harbor put me in the shoes of a survivor on the shores of Pearl Harbor and in the home of a typical American civilian following the attack on December 7th, 1941, “the day which shall live in infamy”. The most gripping moment was hearing that exact quote in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech on the radio, which makes it seem like the attack on Pearl Harbor happened only yesterday.
My Brother’s Keeper
Unlike Remembering Pearl Harbor, which focuses on recreating a historical atmosphere, My Brother’s Keeper uses American history to tell a compelling story of two brothers who end up on conflicting sides in the Civil War.
My Brother’s Keeper is not only interactive but also remarkably immersive. It’s a short film that uses 360-degree capture and 120 frames per second to drop you right in the middle of one of the fiercest battles of the American Civil War. One of my favorite features is the ability to stop and look around, examining every moment taking place on the battlefield. Faces filled with emotion, followed by a bloody aftermath with casualties demonstrates the power virtual reality has to bring these tragic moments to life.
Historium VR – Relive the history of Bruges
Developer: Sevenedge Interactive Media
Imagine sailing through the beautiful canals and dimly lit streets of Bruges during the Middle Ages. With Historium VR, you’ll experience the grandiosity of this city during the 15th century. It was built from the ground up by a well-known historical attraction presently located in the market square of Bruges, so you know you’re getting an accurate interpretation of this wonderful moment in time.
Although a relatively short experience, I quickly fell in love with the new way Historium VR immersed me in the old world. As I studied architecture, cobblestone walkways, and arched bridges, the narrator took me through a fascinating history lesson that included landmarks such as Dampoort, St. Donatian’s, Waterhalle, Crane, and Belfry. The best part is you can choose to embark on a fully narrated journey or pick between specific locations of Bruges you wish to explore. Definitely a must-have for history students and enthusiasts.