Students Create Virtual Reality Tour of Shakespeare’s London

Florida International University
Florida International University / Florida International University

Ever imagined what it was like to see Shakespeare’s plays performed for the first time ever—long before they were elevated to classic status? A group of students at Florida International University has created an immersive virtual reality experience that lets guests travel back to 16th century London and watch scenes from Henry V at the original Globe theater.

The three dimensional VR experience—which will run through February 29—is the first installment of the university’s I-CAVE (Integrated Computer Augmented Virtual Environment), an experimental virtual reality room that uses high-resolution screens, VR goggles, and remote controls to construct virtual worlds. In order to create the virtual reality version of Shakespeare’s London, students of architecture, English, drama, and computer science collaborated to build a world that was historically accurate, interactive, and technologically sophisticated.

The Shakespeare simulation re-creates the dirt roads, houses, and marketplace of London in 1598. Guests are able to walk through London to the Globe theater, where they not only experience the classic opening monologue of Henry V, but see the ways performers and audiences interacted in the 16th century. 

“The goal of the project is to recreate the experience of what it must have been like to see a play in Shakespeare’s era,” project manager David Frisch said in a press release. “It was loud. It could get rowdy and crazy, and people would throw tomatoes at performers during plays.”

[h/t Popular Science]