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ICAT Playdate — Future Technologies as Portals to the Past

March 17, 2023

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This talk looks to unpack the methods of how we can build mixed reality (VR + AR) in ways to aid initiatives looking to bring about new understanding of our complexed past.  As an example, I will present both the “I Am A Man VR Experience,” and “Barnstormers: Determined to Win” as contemporary precedents that use VR technology to place audiences directly in the center of our historical past. For “I Am A Man” users are placed in the center of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and are allowed to see events leading to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In Barnstormers, audiences are introduced to the triumph and struggles of Negro League Baseball, as one takes the field to play “America’s favorite past time” in a segregated society.  Both examples have been critically examined and praised for their artistry and quality of work, but it is this work’s social impact that we will discuss further in depth. 


  • Derek Ham


  • March 17, 2023


  • 8:30am EDT
     Networking & Donuts at Community Assembly, Creativity and Innovation District LLC
  • 9am EDT
     Presentation begins in the Community Assembly and 360 Online

Virginia Tech faculty can receive Professional Development Network (PDN) credit for attending

  1. Register at 
  2. Check in with Phyllis Newbill during the event.

Location: Community Assembly, Creativity and Innovation District LLC