History comes to life at FSB: A visit from Digital History Studios

We are happy to announce our latest guest in the Maker Speaker Series

in conjunction with the

Upper School History Department.

 Location and Time:

Thursday, March 23rd
1:05-2:20  Lunch and M Block

Upper School 300 Rooms
Pizza will be provided courtesy of the Maker Speaker Series

All divisions, faculty and students welcome.

Our guest Mr. Robert Cloutier of Digital History Studios we’ll be visiting our campus to share his games design experiences and 360 view Animation pieces that bring historical events to life. He has spent 12 years in the games industry working on many title’s. Mr Cloutier worked on a team that brought us:  Sid Meier’s Civilization IV

Mr. Cloutier will be speaking about his process of designing a virtual experience in a historical context, the types of gaming software he uses, research methods for his projects and careers in gaming. He’s worked on many historically based projects for major institutions such as Discovery, Smithsonian Institution and Newseum in Washington DC.


A mobile-based VR headset will be available for students to experience his games and 360 animation pieces during his presentation such as:

  • 1 Korean War piece – MIG-15 Aircraft over North Korea
  • 1 WWII piece – Berlin 1945
  • 1 Civil War piece (new) – Ironclads at Hampton Roads
  • 1 Cold War piece – A 360 render of the Berlin Wall project. currently being developed for the Newseum in Washington DC
  • 2 WWI pieces – Trench and Zeppelins over London

Mrs Molly Smith-Upper School History Department Chair

Rob Cloutier talked about how he was able to combine his love for history with his interest in technology, especially in the realm of virtual reality. He showed us some of the simulations he has worked on, but he also talked about his process. His work brings history to life; students were able to experience the Berlin Wall up close, or what is was like to walk through the streets of Berlin in 1945 or a World War I trench, or be in a fighter plane. He showed the students how a 3-d rendering of a map can convey information in such a powerful way, as we watched Napoleon’s army dwindle as his invasion of Russia ultimately failed.

We focus on research a lot in our history curriculum, and Rob spoke about the role of research in his process of learning in order to create his simulations. We often think of historians as writers, but Rob gave us a different way of thinking about history. He talked about the many different ways that history as a discipline can help students in a variety of career fields, which was great. At the same time, he may have sparked some students interest in becoming visual historians.

Links to Mr. Cloutier work



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