Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Nassaney

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Third Advisor

Dr. Allen Webb


archaeology, education, virtual reality, VR, video games

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging digital platform that can be utilized as an immersive educational tool. This thesis uses the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display to create a VR Museum, building upon research exploring video games in education. This VR Museum leverages virtual reality and video game technology to educate players about archaeology. Through virtual reality technology, players enter the digitally-constructed museum environment as if they are inside the virtual world. This technology provides new avenues for engaging the public in archaeological studies. This thesis also examines how digital copies of artifacts made with photogrammetry can be utilized for education. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how a functional model of a VR Museum can be created and serves as a foundation for further development and research. This thesis also examines potential further developments.

The theme of this VR Museum is the archaeology of blacksmithing. The same concepts for making a VR Museum can be applied to many other themes in archaeology, history, and other subjects. The VR Museum went through four prototype stages of development, exploring concepts on how to design a museum for VR. A fifth version of the VR Museum is the completed computer program, which launched in the Western Michigan University VR Lab. The VR Museum will receive continued development beyond this thesis, with ongoing player feedback.

Included in

Anthropology Commons