Case Studies

Case Study 3
The Island of Madeira, Portugal

Partners: ITI, ECCOM and CMF
Project Themes: Ethical Design for Access and Engagement; Transmedia, Tourism, and Social Games; Narrative and Play

Madeira Islands are an outermost region of Europe recognized by Article 349 TFEU, these regions are special because of remoteness but also richness in biodiversity and natural resources, they are also very dependent on limited economic activities in particular tourism. This case study attempts to promote a deeper understanding of natural and cultural heritage as an integrated system and a basis for holistic management in touristic destinations that are simultaneously biodiversity preservation spots and highly depend on Tourism as an economic activity

Natural heritage comprises natural sites with cultural aspects such as “cultural landscapes, physical, biological or geological formations”. This deployment will look at nature as cultural heritage and will leverage an existing sensor infrastructure to deploy novel forms of locative gaming and interactive storytelling as a way to promote locals and tourists’ engagement with the UNESCO protected natural world of Madeira. The assumption and challenges for this case study are twofold: i) that nature is a fundamental element of cultural heritage; and ii) the importance of feeling aware of and connected with nature is a key component for fostering preservation and conservation. This “Nature as Culture” case study, led by the Institute of Interactive Technologies, will deploy and evaluate a game connected to popular natural hotspots but also to endemic megafauna (e.g. marine mammals and turtles) in order to generate digital twins of these natural and cultural entangled landscapes. This will become visible via transmedia gaming to locals and tourists to increase their connectedness to nature and promote ecological behaviour. A summary report on the ethical guidelines to design for access and engagement with nature, while accounting for conservation and preservation of the latter will conclude the case study.

This case study will contribute to Theme 1: Ethical Design for Access and Engagement through its unique natural setting and its emphasis of conservation and attitude change. A contribution to Theme 3: Transmedia, Tourism and Social Visiting through its use of an extended transmedia experience (of which the locative heritage game is a key part) and its focus on the full tourist journey, and the case study also contributes to Theme 6: Narrative and Play through its use of games to create empathy and help tourists reflect on their own roles.