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Schell Games is releasing HistoryMaker VR on Steam just in time for the new school year that will let players embody a range of historical figures. With HistoryMaker VR, students can import scripts and record videos as historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Tecumseh, George Washington Carver, and Abigail Adams.

HistoryMaker VR should debut on Steam on August 13 for $10, with compatibility mentioned for the Oculus Rift and Rift S. But Schell is also pitching it as being free for educators, with complementary desktop software for managing a classroom and helping students.

Middle school students are the target audience. They can deliver speeches in VR as one of eight characters from United States history. Kids can customize stages with various backgrounds and props, and then export and edit videos for review by teachers or classmates.

Schell Games is the studio behind popular VR titles including I Expect You To Die and Until You Fall, as well as a range of other experiences both inside VR and out.

HistoryMaker VR looks very similar to Mindshow (which was pulled from Steam in recent months) and the more recently launched FlipSide Studio. The educational focus of HistoryMaker, though, combined with the fun that can come with play acting may make for a potent combination and comes just as U.S. schools grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. (California announced Friday that many schools will open with distance learning in place.) With millions of kids singing history-inspired songs from Hamilton after its recent release on Disney+, and The Under Presents: The Tempest showing the power of acting in VR, we’re curious to see what kids and schools do with the software when it is released.

This story originally appeared on Copyright 2020


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