PLAY ALGHERO: A crowd-sourced playful itinerary where multiple spots in-out-around the city become a hub of fun with MED GAIMS-Italy


Connecting various elements of local identity, cultural sites and urban spaces through the act of playing. This is the goal that Fondazione Alghero, partner of the MED GAIMS project, intends to promote through PLAY ALGHERO, an itinerary of urban installations which it has conceived as stages of a coordinated, playful path designed to discover the city. Thanks to an easily recognizable visual identity, which recalls the colors and symbols of Alghero culture, the itinerary is designed to communicate - through the brand PLAY ALGHERO -  the system consisting of ten games (including the itinerary itself) created by Alghero’s game development teams as part of the project. 

The itinerary will cross the historic center, connecting the main heritage sites with recognizable episodes and different "stories" that speak about the city and its history, playable individually or in its entirety but all referring to the same concept: to play with the city and in the city. The act of play has become a central concept to enhance participatory processes among citizen and visitors: everyone can join the itinerary to enjoy and have fun in the different spots, fostering a new way to explore the city and interact with its cultural heritage. 

At the basis of the development of the game itinerary is an important research work carried out by the Fondazione Alghero in collaboration with the Animazionedesign laboratory of the University of Sassari Department of Architecture and Design (DADU) which coordinates the scientific aspects of the research, the design of the urban itinerary and its single spots. The itinerary is based on the integrated design of the identity and the support to communication as well as the promotion of local participation activities through the involvement of citizens in the design process. 

Other elements that characterize the playful itinerary are the reference to the games of tradition reinterpreted across the itinerary spots and the fact that each stage represent playful experiences without conditions of winning and losing where people interact through physical and mental exercise. A technology free project, based on recycled and eco-friendly materials. Games which will be freely available 24 hours a day on selected spots in Alghero. 

The playful itinerary and the graphic identity that will accompany the project have been presented last week in Alghero in  a press conference which was attended by the Mayor of Alghero Mario Conoci, the President of Fondazione Alghero Andrea Delogu, the Councillors Emiliano Piras (Urban Planning and Active Citizenship) and Marco Di Gangi ( Tourism and Culture), Prof. Nicolò Ceccarelli of the AnimationDesign Laboratory of DADU, scientific research coordinator, and representatives of numerous local stakeholders in the tourism sector.

"The goal is certainly ambitious - said the Mayor of Alghero Mario Conoci - revolutionize the traditional visit to cultural sites, exploiting the potential of game design to make the tourist experience unique, greatly expanding the number of visitors thanks to new forms of enjoyment of the places". 
An effort made possible thanks to MED GAIMS, which promotes the use of gamification to foster innovative tourist experiences in partner countries involved Lebanon, Jordan, Spain and Italy, with Alghero - through the Fondazione Alghero as a partner in the project - the only Italian city. There are ten games applied to the heritage being developed, all with the background of the Coral Riviera and an easily identifiable brand identity, PLAY ALGHERO. The general coordination of the project is entrusted to Fabio Viola, game designer considered one of the leading experts in the sector. The games will be tested between September and October through special Open Days that will involve citizens and visitors.