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June 26, 2012

Discover 18th-century Williamsburg with 21st-century Technology

Technology now enables Colonial Williamsburg’s guests to access the new mobile map app, Colonial Williamsburg Explorer; obtain an alias for this summer’s newest alternate reality game, “RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn”; and meet British colonists as they became Americans on the eve of the American Revolution.

“Technology helps vacation planners better understand all we offer, and makes booking a trip easier,” said Sean Rooks, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of the digital guest experience. “Colonial Williamsburg’s Explorer, our new mobile app, and our new website, which launched on June 19, are both designed to meet and support these goals. The QR codes we are adding to exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and the marriage of a texting, digital and onsite learning in our RevQuest alternate reality games reflect changing learning styles and support a more interactive guest experience.”

Explorer App: You Are Here

For guests who get lost in the 18th century or who are simply looking for what’s going on in the Revolutionary City, the new interactive Colonial Williamsburg’s Explorer app leads the way. This free mobile map app is for iPhone, iPad and Android. The interactive guide to the Colonial Williamsburg Resort and The Revolutionary City lists the places guests can explore with their admission ticket. By clicking on the “Sites” button, guests can locate historic sites, historic trades, museums, tickets and information, dining, hotels, shopping, recreation, refreshments, even restrooms, bus stops and parking lots. The “Tours” tab lists self-guided walking tours including the First Visit Tour and the Colonial Trades Tour. On mobile devices, guests click “Locate” to see their current position.

The Explorer app can be downloaded from Google Play at https://play.google.com/ and on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colonial-williamsburgs-explorer/id517285828?mt=8.

What’s Your Spy Name?

In their mission to save the cause of American liberty, players need a secret name to help protect their real identity. To reveal a spy name for “RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn,” players enter their name online, hit submit and their spy name is revealed on the computer screen.

Guests can try it at http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/visit/summer/spy-central.html.

RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn

Guests then use this alias to play an all-new online/onsite alternate reality game designed to enhance and expand a visit to the Revolutionary City this summer. Running through Sept. 3, “RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn” immerses participants in the world of 18th-century espionage as they race to protect the identity of a crucial patriot spy on the eve of the Battle of Yorktown. Based on actual events and real people, the game challenges Questors as never before to break codes and avoid detection as they navigate their way online and through The Revolutionary City to save the cause of American liberty. During the game, participants use text messaging to send in clues and receive responses that guide them through the mission.

The game begins online where, through a series of graphic art episodes and online puzzles, players are introduced to the Revolutionary people and events that set the stage. If Questors successfully solve the series of four online clues and text in the final answer, they will receive a helpful hint that provides an advantage when playing onsite. Players may begin the game online by visiting: http://research.history.org/lion_and_unicorn/.

The Revolutionary City

In Revolutionary City, guests become a part of the two-day saga as the city comes alive to depict the days, months and years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War. Guests choose to follow one of four very different people in the 18th-century capital of Virginia online at http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/visit/summer/the-revolutionary-city.html. Loyalist printer William Hunter opposes American independence. James Monroe, who now is a student at the College of William and Mary, is trying to raise a regiment to fight in the war. Betsy Randolph, the wife of an ardent patriot, discovers the challenges of beginning a family on the eve of the American Revolution. Forced to make personal decisions about their loyalties, these people and many more confront the complicated world of a community on the edge of war. Guests meet these patriots and loyalists, and follow them as the city comes to life with the stories, conflicts and perseverance of the 18th century.

A visit to the Foundation’s new website, http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/summer, starts the guest experience. The website features upcoming summer programs including Live After 5, Fun Zone, Summer Fun packages and July Fourth activities.

The Estelle and Harold Tanner Endowment for Technology in the Historic Area, established by Colonial Williamsburg Senior Trustee Estelle (Nicki) Tanner and her husband Harold of Scarsdale, N.Y., helps provide support for new initiatives such as “RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn.”

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121



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