Hack the Map 3D Video Game – Escaping your destiny through Rigas’ Charta
Keywords:3D Video Game, Historical Cartography, Rigas' Charta, Digital CartoHeritage, Escape Rooms, Game Based Learning (GBL)
Celebrating the two hundred years from the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the War of Independence, Onassis Library, in collaboration with the Cartographic Heritage Archives of General State Archives of Greece and the Department of Geography of Harokopio University, implemented a series of digital workshops on 3D video game design in order to motivate teenagers to interact with one of the most emblematic maps of the eighteenth century and a major artefact of the Greek cartographic heritage: Rigas Velestinlis’ Charta (map) of Greece (1796–1797).
In 2020, four (4) school teams consisting of sixty-five (65) students 13-17 years old, brought to life the map that inspired the Greek Revolution of 1821, transforming it into a 3D video game for PC or Android devices. By using innovative mixtures of history, geography, cartography, visual arts, and information technology, they managed to build a third-person puzzle game with one hero (Rigas) who had to run through the Charta region to escape imprisonment by solving twelve (12) riddles, collecting all the scattered sheets of the revolutionary map and unifying its parts.
This educational activity broke out of the traditional classroom routine, and enhanced the engagement, collaboration, and communication of the youngsters, fostering their creativity and their connection with the cartographic cultural heritage. Learning through game-making stimulated literacy development and improved the digital skills of the participants. The success of this innovative educational experience led to the development of an Augmented Reality (AR) application entitled “Rigas’ Charta,” available at Google Play for Android devices, and to the implementation of the game-developing course to an online National Student Competition entitled “Hack the Map: Rigas’ Charta” for the school year of 2020–2021.