Perchance to Read: Developing an Augmented Reality Game to Increase Student Engagement with Hamlet


augmented reality
active learning

How to Cite

MISAK, J., and K. LaGrandeur. “Perchance to Read: Developing an Augmented Reality Game to Increase Student Engagement With Hamlet”. Early Modern Culture Online, Vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 19-44, doi:10.15845/emco.v7i1.2835.


Hamlet (and similar texts) can be difficult for students to follow initially. Often when students read, they may gloss over the text, missing key contexts. These problems lead to a lack of engagement in the literature classroom. The use of videos can help, but this often deters reading. This dilemma prompted the development of an Augmented Reality (AR) application to enhance Hamlet. By ‘zooming in’ on specific elements of Hamlet—Act I Scenes IV and V (the ghost scenes)— students explore and gain valuable information on the context behind these scenes. Students discover their perspective on a key question in the play; is the ghost real, or is it coinage from Hamlet’s brain? Students can arrive at a more concrete understanding of their own thoughts and take away a better grasp of both the context of the scene and the character of Hamlet through their active participation in the application.


Primarily, this article will highlight the dramatic effect student experience, both real and perceived, had on the development and execution of the application. The goal is to convey the pedagogical questions addressed when conceptualizing the application: the desired learning outcomes, the perceived student audience, and the need to connect game actions to the text of the play. It is one thing to speculate what students may want/need in such an environment from an instructor’s perspective. It’s another to analyze student and instructor feedback to help highlight critical areas more effectively. Students not only learn through their actions in the app; they help create the design of the application through their feedback. The article will detail the development of the application through this user input and the impact of praxis on its iteration.

Copyright (c) 2020 JOHN R MISAK, Kevin LaGrandeur

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