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The Grandpa, a serious game about the Spanish Civil war in Vilanova i la Geltrú

The game The Grandpa is developed by Ludi Artis, a multidisciplinary team integrated by specialists in game design, audiovisual design, app development and tourism. Joining their long expertise and after detecting special needs in the promotion of the recently restored or created historical heritage of Vilanova i la Geltrú, they have converged in creating a serious game introducing the visitors into the dramatic episodes of the Spanish Civil War and postwar. While discovering the secret hidden in the Stolpersteine located in the streets and the bunkers of Vilanova, users get to know not only about the events that happened in those years but also about the everyday life of people, the role of the militia women, how all the inhabitants contributed to fortify the coastline by building together the bunker and military batteries. And finally, about the consequences of the Republican defeat and the exile it generated, with many of them being captured and deported to nazi concentration camps.

Moreover, the game meets the strong commitment of the village to watch over the knowledge and the maintenance of the Catalan historical memory as collective heritage. And as often history is seen by tourists as a tough topic to engage in their free and fun time, the Grandpa introduces attractive storytelling and an appealing game that brings them into history while having fun and discovering the village.

The users, as members of the Agency of Secrets, are contacted by Marina, the granddaughter of Valentina, a Republican soldier and also a member of the Agency. Marina has found some unrevealed documents about a hidden secret of the family. And she is determined to discover the truth, get to know more about both his grandpa and grandma, the secret they hid, and what happened in Vilanova during the Spanish Civil War.

Through a Mobile App (Android and iPhone), they get access to the text and audiovisual information, location, and solution to the enigmas using their mobile device and location settings. Both main characters of the story are fictitious, but inside the story, there will be references to real ones. As the game integrates the Stolpersteine elements, it brings the user throughout Vilanova and gives them more information (and also mystery resolutions) about the local people in that period.

The target groups include a wide range of public, from both local – national and international. They can be groups of friends, families with grown-up teenagers (from 16), students, individuals, teenagers from 16 years old, businesses (bleisure). The game will include the PEGI 16 coding system to indicate that is suitable for people from 16 years old. But all them have in common the interest in discovering the city from a different perspective.

To sum up, the game looks forward to making history accessible to a broader range of public, by making it entertaining and attractive thanks to the storytelling and game design. And also connecting them emotionally to the story and characters, explaining this sensitive part of our history very carefully and respectfully. At the same time, it highlights cultural heritage elements that will either be renewed or completely new, arising awareness both of local people and tourists. And finally, it integrates the rest of the games of MedGaims ecosystem and also all local business (restaurants, bars, accommodations,…) in its App, giving to the visitor a comprehensive vision of the city and enticing them to plan a longer stay to enjoy it.

Nowadays the Grandpa is starting to take shape, after a deep documentation process, implementing the code and getting ready to be downloadable in the Google Play Store and Apple store by late summer 2021.

Meritxell Omella Aznar

Meritxell Omella Aznar

Director and guide of El Brogit. Expert walker of the mountains of southern Catalonia and very knowledgeable about the wines and wineries of the region. Expert in ecotourism and network of paths projects.

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