Feb. 24 Grand Opening: Travel Back in Time to the Battle of Fort Myers in New Virtual Reality Experience

Fort Myers, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2017)The IMAG History & Science Center has a new virtual reality (VR) experience which places visitors directly in the Battle of Fort Myers.

IMAG historian Jim Powers and executive director Matt Johnson worked with D3 Creative Studios of Fort Myers again to create another highly engaging experience.

Johnson explained that IMAG is adding new VR experiences because the application is such a powerful tool that has transformed the way people absorb information through immediate engagement and immersive interactions. “Our goal is to engage visitors in science and history, and we believe this exhibit is a perfect blend of both disciplines. It provides an interactive educational experience that is both informative and entertaining,” said Johnson.

Powers has done extensive research on the battle including combing through the National Archives and carefully sifting through official records documenting the battle which took place Feb. 20, 1865. Working with D3 he translated that knowledge into a virtual re-enactment that allows IMAG guests to feel what it was like to be out in the field, as well as behind the fort walls during the battle.

The squeamish need not worry as there is no violence shown. The re-enactment is focused on the mechanics of the battle and what it took to conduct it. Visitors can use their virtual hands to help on both sides.

While the battle was a short one, lasting only half a day, it is significant because it represented another win for the Union as the war was winding down. It also happened to be the southernmost battle east of the Mississippi. Another noteworthy aspect of the battle was the presence of African-American troops from the D and I companies of the second regiment of the United States Colored Troops (USCT). These soldiers fought with the Union in defending the fort and blocking the Confederates from retrieving cattle.

“The possibilities for VR are limitless, and we have just scratched the surface,” said Johnson.

IMAG History and Science Center is a family-friendly destination offering fun interactive exhibits, an aquarium, history displays and a 3D theater. The mission is to engage guests in the exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and more recently the history of Southwest Florida. This is achieved through hands-on experiences and educational programs that further the understanding of the natural and human-made world, and foster an appreciation for the unique environment, natural waterways and rich history of Southwest Florida. A visit to IMAG nurtures intellectual curiosity, discovery and innovation. For more information, visit www.theIMAG.org or visit in person – 2000 Cranford Avenue | Fort Myers, Fla 33916