Mediascapes: educational, cultural and tourist journeys
The mediascapes technology, developed by Hewlett Packard’s Bristol labs, is used to generate location-based multimedia games and tours, and these are of great interest for education and tourism. Using a PDA or a GPS-enabled mobile device plus headphones, the user (a tourist, student, hiker…) can go on a GPS-guided tour, visiting and exploring some place of interest, with images, videos and sound that come on as the tour progresses, enabling the user to relive a multimedia experience based on immersion in an audio-rich story, and the experience being completed with photo sequences, videos and interactive Flash games.
Two types of tour can be programmed: anchored mediascapes, tied to a particular, specific spot on the planet, and portable mediascapes, which enable the experience to be reproduced anywhere, they being easily distributable, thanks to the Internet, for reproduction elsewhere.
Narcís Vives (Director of Itinerarium) will be showing simulations of some mediascapes he has developed at Itinerarium at the session scheduled for 23 May:
- A treasure-hunt game on medicinal herbs for the elderly, run in Callús, in El Bages.
- A literary mediascape on a story by Clarín: Boroña, which recounts the home-coming of a man who had made his fortune in the Americas: he comes back to his home village, Prendes, in Asturias, after 30 years in Mexico. Using a two-kilometre route and a follow-the-clues game, we invite walkers to relive the story.
- The musical maze: a location-based game inviting participants to move around the maze guided by the music of three great composers: Chopin, Casals and Britten. They advise us on which way to go when the path splits.
- A portable mediascape – a game on the topography of Asturias: this is a GPS location game using a geo-referenced map that can be taken to any open area. The participants have to discover the main mountains, rivers and peaks of Asturias as they move around the map.