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Virtual environments have been valued as being extremely motivating for learners and therefore are employed as an innovative, more accessible framework to deliver education and entertainment to the public. Recent advances in creating videogame applications imbedded with effective learning principles, along with the evolution of human computer interfaces performed within the entertainment industry, suggests that a combination of successful practices in these areas could potentially transform virtual environments to a significant educational tool that could facilitate the learning process. This paper describes a virtual reality exhibit implemented for the museum of Thermopylae located at the site of the original battle, near the city of Lamia in Greece. We utilized storytelling techniques and principles of modern videogames to disseminate historical knowledge about the battle and the associated legends. After describing the hardware and software components comprising this installation we elaborate over the educational techniques designed to reinforce the strength of virtual reality technology as a mean of designing educational experiences in the context of historical events.
Date of Conference: 4-6 May 2011