The research project addresses an innovative infrastructure that combines digital educational escape games with the promotion of Greek cultural heritage through literature, establishing and highlighting new gamified ways of experiencing iconic cultural places through outstanding literary texts of Greek writers and poets. The project advocates the combination of Greek cultural heritage, digital technologies advancements and the implementation of innovative gamifying practices. There are blended new trends in the development of digital games (Augmented Reality technologies for mobile devices and PCs and Virtual Reality techniques for head mounted devices) with the inexhaustible cultural wealth of Greece.
Gaming is a rising trend in education, culture and tourism and in this context, the experience gained by the project outcomes can enhance, facilitate and trigger the cultural intersection between the visitor, literature and place. The recent digital development highlights promote the confluence of cultural elements; that means that the literature´s dimensions of a place can be amplified and extended through augmented and virtual reality, incorporating the innovative practices of gamification, adopting the model of escape games. A number of representative cultural heritage landmarks and landscapes of Greece, such as Eleusina, Lesvos, Volos, Skiathos, will be researched, analysed and explored through educational escape games.
One of the major project strengths lies in the multimodality of the experiment with a common core work feeding varying gamified activities on remote desktop VR applications as well as site specific VR/AR mobile/tablet geolocated applications. The escape games produced will be available for either individually or in teams gaming during field trips of thematic tourism holidays. A series of user-friendly, flexible mini-games will be produced and will serve as constructing tools for the creation of new escape games in the future.
Project’s challenge can be traced to the methodological steps taken, in terms of differentiation and interdependency between diverse interrelated parts, from template scenarios building, literary corpora compilation, content analysis and text annotation, gamification of concepts linked to literary texts, 3d modelling of suitable constructs linked to texts, interaction techniques and their variation between deliverables, to the actual implementations for the different media platforms. The approach is characterized by a high degree of interaction and utilizes not only the virtual projection of the cultural elements of a geographical region but also associates aspects of the digital processing of literary texts in a gamified and intelligible way. Therefore, the innovation and originality of the project lies both in the junction of augmented/virtual reality with the promotion of cultural points of interest of Greece, as well as in the interactive, gamified practices of literary texts.