Before the Hedges

April 27, 2022

“Before The Hedges” is a project which seeks to reenact the first football game between UGA Varsities and the Mercer Baptists on January 30th, 1892 at the exact spot it occurred, now known as Herty field. Prior to this application anyone who wanted to know about the first UGA game (or any geo-specific historical event for that matter) would have to either imagine the event based on research or wait until a group of live reenactors decided to stage it.

Instead of relying upon a personal theatre troupe, users can crank up “Before the Hedges” and use augmented reality to surround them in the action of the first UGA football game as it may have occurred one hundred and thirty years ago. Using any AR equipped iPhone or Android device the user is transported into a 3-dimensional reenactment of the first American football game UGA. The buildings, players, coaches, fans and stands will appear as they once had in 1892. The user will then be able to walk to different parts of the field and watch the game as it might have happened. Audio will catch the conversations between players, fans and coaches, while critical commentary will be inserted from expert sources reporting on the first game. The immersive technology should give the observer both an historical appreciation for the bare beginnings of the game and an excitement sparked by the theatrical retelling of a game that would become the foundation for UGA football today.

Most important to the goals of this project is allowing the user an opportunity to discover the roots of the UGA community through the lens of this first game. Amazing stories, proud achievements and uncomfortable truths will all be explored as any member of the UGA community will be free to roam Herty Field and discover how the roots of UGA football have come to define a small piece of Georgia history.