Miami Dade College’s MAGIC Students Bring Berlin Wall to Life with Virtual Reality Project

Miami, August 14, 2019 – Students from Miami Dade College’s (MDC) acclaimed Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) launched a virtual reality simulation of The Berlin Wall, visible through an app, presented in partnership with the German Consulate in commemoration of the 30th year anniversary of the fall of the wall.

MAGIC’s Berlin Wall VR Simulation project is an educational, game-like simulation available by using the “BerlinWall Presented by  MAGIC” app on Google Play and triggered by an actual piece of the Berlin Wall located outside Bldg. 1, at MDC’s Wolfson Campus. Open the app and hold the device up to the piece of wall to enter post-World War II Berlin and view the story of the wall from the beginning, on Aug. 13, 1961, when the Communist government of East Germany began to build the oppressive barbed wire and concrete barrier between East and West Berlin. The app continues the story through the fall of the wall in 1989 and the launch of Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial via imagery, text and spoken narrative. The simulation is navigated through checkpoints in a manner similar to street view in Google Maps, where a user clicks on a spot and the point of view shifts to that place.

The project reflects a new MAGIC initiative requiring students to include community-oriented ventures in their annual capstone projects. Exhaustive research, animation and coding went into creating the project. A class worked diligently it for an entire academic year, with half of the students focused on coding and interactivity and the other half on design and animation.

Historical news clips and videos are used to transition between eras. Accompanying the immersive visual journey is original music scored by student composer Nicolas Velazquez of New World School of the Arts at MDC.

Animation students Sienna Castro and Oliver Vega perfected “idle animations” – the small movements and gestures that make characters more realistic – for the A/R people seen throughout the simulation. The students donned suits with sensors in MAGIC’s motion capture studio and recorded movements like fidgeting, swaying and conversing.

“These animations bring the game to life, to make you feel like you’re in the middle of Berlin,” Castro said.

For more information about the project, please contact Mauricio Ferrazza, at 305-237-7852,