8.3.2007: Making Dead History Come Alive through Mobile Game-Play, Carmelo Ardito, University of Bari

Using the game to transform the visit to archaeological sites into a more complete and culturally rich experience

Carmelo Ardito
Interaction Visualization Usability group
Università di Bari, Italy
Visiting Uix and DCC groups at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), www.hiit.fi

When: 8th of March 13:00-14:00 (register yourself to ardito@di.uniba.it)
Where: Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), High Tech Center Helsinki (6th floor), Tammasaarenkatu 3 (Pinta talo), Helsinki http://www.htc.fi/kartta_hki.htm


Play stimulates in young students an understanding of history that would otherwise be difficult to engender, helping players to acquire historical notions. “Gaius' Day” is a game designed for mobile devices that supports young students learning history at an archaeological site. The game is structured like a treasure hunt. Groups of 4/5 players are formed: each group impersonates an ancient Roman family (playing historical roles strongly motivates students). The groups has to explore the city by collecting information, identifying places and noting them down on a map of the site. The group has the possibility to see on the phone the 3D-reconstruction of the identified places. When the game is over, teachers meet students for debriefing, to reflect upon their experience. Striving for a simple and cheap digital gaming infrastructure, the proposed design is based on cellular phones able to run a Java2 Micro Edition (J2ME), equipped with a memory card slot and also (optionally) a digital camera. Visitors will use their own cellular phone so that the archaeological site does not need to provide any hardware infrastructure. The recognition of the places is performed by visual tags or codes distributed across the site.

Short Biography

Carmelo Ardito is PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Bari, Italy. His research group is the Interaction Visulization Usability (IVU) group, coordinated by Prof. Maria Francesca Costabile (http://ivu.di.uniba.it). His current research interests are in the Human-Computer Interaction field, particularly information visualization techniques, usability evaluations and mobile systems. In the early phases of his PhD course, he studied information visualization techniques suitable to mobile devices. He developed PHiP (Patient History in Pocket, presented at MobileHCI ‘06), a tool designed for a mobile device that displays patient histories and permits to visually query patient data stored in the hospital database. Currently, his work is part of the CHAT project (“Cultural Heritage fruition & e-learning applications of new Advanced (multimodal) Technologies”), which aims at developing a software infrastructure that provides services accessible through thin clients such as cellular phones or PDAs. He proposes a scenario that can merge e-learning and cultural heritage: an excursion-game to support young students learning history at an archaeological site, by making use of recent advantages provided by mobile technology.


Last updated on 26 Aug 2008 by WWW administrator - Page created on 8 Mar 2007 by Martti Mäntylä