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Gates Of Horus

"Gates of Horus" is an educational game based on the Virtual Egyptian Temple. During play, the user has a question-and-answer dialogue with a (virtual) Egyptian priest regarding the temple's major features and their meaning. each time the player demonstrates sufficient knowledge of one area of the Temple, the next gateway opens, allowing the player to go deeper inside. The goal is to reach the inner sanctuary and unlock the final mystery.

Gates of Horus is intended for one player and takes 45 to 90 minutes to play, and runs on a standard desktop computer. The game begins with the help screen, which describes basic play and navigation. For more detail, you can read the game rules.

The game works equally well in a "Corner Cave" display, shown in the image above, left. It is a simple arrangement where two projectors are plugged into one computer, to display on two screens at a 90-degree angle. The perspective correction in the images creates a unified panoramic view for the user. It will also work in a digital dome. In our largest learning study, to date, we found evidence that students playing the game in a dome learn more than those playing on the desktop (Jacobson, 2011).


Jacobson, J. (2013) Digital Dome Versus Desktop Display; Learning Outcome Assessments by Domain Experts, International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, Fall, IGI Global (in press). PDF

Jacobson, J. (2011) Digital Dome Versus Desktop Display in an Educational Game: Gates of Horus, International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), special issue on educational applications, Spring, 2011, IGI Global. PDF

Jacobson, J. (2008) Ancient Architecture in Virtual Reality; Does Visual Immersion Really Aid Learning? Dissertation, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. PDF

Play Gates of Horus

Download the executable for the PC Unzip the folder and click on the *.exe file (300 meg).

Download the executable for the MAC Unzip, and click the *.app file (300 meg).


The current version of Gates of Horus (5.0) is based on the new Virtual Egyptian Temple with it's own list of credits. David Heimann did all of the programming, under the direction of Jeffrey Jacobson. The Most important difference is the move to a new software platform, Unity.

The remainder of the credits refer to the older version reported in Jacobson (2009). The Egyptology for the game itself remains the work of Lynn Holden.

Jeffrey Jacobson, Lynn Holden, and Lowry Burgess collaborated closely to produce the game's dramatic structure, interaction design, and instructional design. Holden also provided all of the content, narrative phrasing, and kept the learning activities in line with the actual meaning of the material. The game had to satisfy the experimental design described in Jacobson (2008), which has its own list of credits

Jacobson developed all software requirements, drafted the logic design, and did the software testing. Corey Davis did most of the programming with expert assistance from Jonathan Hagewood; they conducted the work as part of a contract between PublicVR and Psyonix Inc. Also, Wrecking Crew Music provided the voice actor for the Priest and the sound processing. Under Kerry Handron's, direction, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History provided the Earth Theater for testing and deployment. Her feedback during testing was quite valuable. Derek Wahila produced the photograph, above.

Gates of Horus is based on older versions of CaveUT and VRGL which have their own credits.


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