The Reagan Presidential Library and Museum partnered with iThrive Games to create iThrive Sim: Lives in Balance, an innovative virtual augmented reality experience. The project was developed as an opportunity to provide meaningful and engaging experiences for museum-based, hybrid and virtual visitors to the museum and beyond. We sought to meet the tremendous demand for robust interactive learning experiences during this global pandemic and beyond. Users enjoy a high-intensity, collaborative, decision-making scenario, as every individual choice has consequences.
Lives in Balance is a virtual learning experience on American government designed to meet the need for engaged, authentic, and relevant learning experiences. This virtual experience thrusts the participants into a fictional, modern day pandemic where federalism comes to life as they take on the roles of government officials. A group of players responds to the crisis over the span of 40 minutes.
Real-time, face-to-face interactions between participants are supported and guided by technology that is cloud-based, easy-to-access, and device agnostic so it can be used anywhere. We designed it with the needs of traditionally under-resourced communities in mind.
Users characterize the experience as impactful: “It’s a great activity to put the outbreak into perspective and put you in a situation where you’re forced to think outside the box …”
The virtual simulation is designed to be used both in the museum and by virtual audiences. It is keeping museum audiences engaged with our collections during the pandemic and hybrid models for onsite/offsite experiences are in design for Fall 2021.