Historic trading fort to be constructed in Virtual Reality (VR) in collaboration with USA National Park Service
COLORADO, USA — Nov. 19, 2014
The Immersive Education Initiative today announced that Bent’s Old Fort, a unit of the United States National Park Service located on the Santa Fe Trail in Colorado’s Otero County, will be reconstructed virtually in the video game Minecraft and also as a fully immersive 3D virtual reality (VR) environment.
One of several new activities under the Initiative’s Immersive Arts and Culture program, Immersive Bent’s Old Fort is being developed in collaboration with the United States Department of the Interior National Park Service, the City of La Junta Colorado, Otero Junior College, and Colorado’s East Otero School District.
Through the Initiative’s Learn to Earn program students in Colorado, working in collaboration with Stanford University’s Architecture Design Program, will actively participate in reconstructing the fort in both Minecraft and virtual reality (VR).
Immersive Bent’s Old Fort, along with corresponding history curricula and teaching materials, will be available free of charge to the general public and to schools around the world.
Online virtual tours of the immersive fort will be available to schools as a complement to the in-person tours currently conducted on-site at the fort by National Park Service rangers. For details visit http://ImmersiveEducation.org/fort
Castle of the Plains
Known as the “Castle of the Plains,” Bent's Old Fort was a 1830s - 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. A unique center of cultural exchange at the time no less than seven different languages were spoken at the fort including English, Spanish, French, and numerous American Indian languages. Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events.
Bent’s Old Fort served as an instrument of Manifest Destiny and a catalyst for change in the United States. The fort’s influence with the Plains Indians and its political and social connections in Santa Fe helped pave the way for the U.S. occupation of the West and the annexation of Mexico’s northern province during the U.S.-Mexican War. Along with El Camino Real, the Santa Fe Trail was part of a trade network linking Europe, New York, and St. Louis with Santa Fe and Mexico City. Opened in 1821, the Santa Fe Trail followed old trade routes established by American Indians that were later used by Spanish, Mexican and American troops, traders and other travelers.
Development of Immersive Bent’s Old Fort begins in January 2015. To participate, or for more information, visit http://ImmersiveEducation.org/fort
Millions of Learners Worldwide
Immersive Education Initiative, the world's foremost experts in immersion and immersive technology, is a non-profit international collaboration of educational institutions, research institutes, museums, consortia and companies. The Initiative was established in 2005 with the mission to define and develop standards, best practices, technology platforms, training and education programs, and communities of support for virtual worlds, virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality, simulations, game-based learning and training systems, immersive teaching and immersive learning platforms, and fully immersive environments such as caves and domes.
Thousands of faculty, researchers, staff and administrators are members of the Immersive Education Initiative, who together service millions of academic and corporate learners worldwide.
Collaborators and Summit speakers include faculty, researchers, graduate students, and executives from the world's leading academic and cultural organizations, universities, and companies, such as United States Department of Education, United Nations, NASA, Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MIT Media Lab, Stanford University, UCLA, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Disney, Gates Planetarium, United States Department of the Interior (DOI) National Park Service (NPS), Italian Ministry of Education, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Sorbonne University (France), Keio University (Japan), Nippon TV (Japan), National University of Singapore (NUS), University of Glasgow (UK), European Learning Industry Group (ELIG), Università degli Studi di Padova (University of Padua, Italy), University of Barcelona (Spain), Italian National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and many more world-class organizations.
To learn more visit http://ImmersiveEducation.org