History class could become a lot more interesting thanks to a new gaming app.
Avery Chenoweth, 60, and a 65-year-old partner started Here’s My Story to make history and geography come alive by combining technology with storytelling.
Here’s My Story recently joined forces with Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia to deliver a mobile, location-based game that engages students and visitors in virtual role-playing.
“Historic figures, depicted in augmented reality, appear and speak to users, on their mobile devices, telling first-person stories, asking for help, and giving instructions,” explains the company’s website.
In other words, it’s sort of like John Brown meets Pokémon Go.
Chenoweth’s path to entrepreneurship hasn’t been easy. As reported in this New York Times article, the Charlottesville, Virginia resident was a novelist before a major heart attack left him too tired to write.
For a year, he worked at a car rental company to pay the bills. Then a friend told him about a business incubator at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. The incubator, known as the i.Lab, gave Chenoweth the help he needed to develop his idea.
Chenoweth, who’s now healthy, says he faced other challenges. One was the need for technology expertise to bring his idea to life. Another was being older than most of the other incubator participants.
“As you get older, the ceiling isn’t glass,” he told the Times. “It’s concrete. Or even worse, it’s made out of wood and covered with silk.”
Here’s My Story has strong partners for the Harpers Ferry project. Among them: The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, the Harpers Ferry Historical Association, and Jefferson County (WV) School District in addition to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
Check out this video to learn more about the Here’s My Story-Harpers Ferry initiative.