This is the development site for the virtual reality educational game, “VR Hoover Dam.” This game, funded by a Digital Projects for the Public grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will allow players to explore and learn about the construction of the Hoover Dam and its various impacts on economies, people, natural environments, and more.

VR Hoover Dam is historically-based, educational game centered on the construction of one of the most iconic structures in the world. It combines cutting edge-technologies with current humanities scholarship to create an interactive, 4-dimensional game that takes place within the landscape of the 1930s Black Canyon site where Hoover Dam was built.

The full realization of the game will allow players to interact with and learn about historical figures, get a sense of what it was like to live and work at the dam, and to understand Hoover Dam’s tremendous importance and wide-ranging impacts.

The long-term potential of VR Hoover Dam is very exciting. Our vision is not just a photorealistic 3D landscape of Black Canyon and the Hoover Dam construction site but instead a “4D” learning experience unlike any other to date.

We see this project as opening the possibility for both new pedagogy and scholarly insights into one of the most significant projects in American history. VR Hoover Dam would augment the study of a range of topics such as politics, economics, architecture and design, the history of labor, the New Deal era, workplace safety, Native American culture, westward migration, the Great Depression, the history of technological innovation, STEM education, and climate change, as well as issues of social and economic justice and struggle, and civil rights.

Latest Posts

Meet Winthrop Davis

The premise of the game is based on the real-life story of photographer Winthrop A. Davis, whose work chronicled the construction of Hoover Dam and the early days of Las Vegas. One of the ways Davis made money during his time at the dam was by selling prints of his photographs to tourists. He had…

Team Sets Initial Module Design

Our first game module scenario involves laborers at the dam, specifically the “high-scaler” job of swinging from the canyon rim by ropes, drilling holes in the rock face with 44-pound jackhammers, and setting dynamite in the holes for blasting. Employment office: In order to gain access to the damsite, the player must acquire an ID…

Who is This Game For?

Our project will be available to anyone, either through the Oculus store or downloaded here from tour website. Our initial target audience, however, will be K-12 educators, Nevada State Museum visitors, and Boulder City Museum visitors. We have learned through our NEH summer programs that this will particularly benefit teachers in low-income areas whose students…

Press Release: Team Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Inter-disciplinary team of faculty receive $99,947 National Endowment for the Humanities grant. The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced $33M in awards for 213 humanities projects nationwide, including $99,947 for “VR Hoover Dam: A Virtual Reality Game Exploring the History and Construction of an American Icon,” led by Associate Professor Anthony Arrigo (English & Communication). VR…

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