University students come up with a game to bring tourism to Málaga’s districts

Improving the experience of tourists, and contributing to the distribution of visitors to the different parts of the city beyond the historic centre, are the aims of the ‘EnigMálaga’ project. ‘EnigMálaga’ is presented as an interactive game, which received an award at the latest edition of Fitur. Its creators are four young students working towards Master's degree in Electronic Tourism, Technologies Applied to Tourism Management and Marketing at the University of Málaga.

They present ‘EnigMálaga’ as ‘a visionary, innovative, fun, instructive, revitalising, profitable, sustainable, replicable, integrative and flexible project, capable of re-launching the use of the city's potential, distributing the flow of visitors among the various districts of the city and boosting the business fabric of Málaga city in the exceptional times we are living in with Covid-19’.

‘EnigMálaga’ is based on established phenomena such as the escape room and gamification; it fuses these together to create a new hybrid capable of meeting not only the needs of the new experiential tourists of the hypermedia era, but also the sustainablity challenge of cities. ‘EnigMálaga’ is a perfect combination of the 'technological mother' that through a playful character and cutting-edge technology such as 'big data' and augmented reality will be able to redistribute tourist flows, meeting the major challenge of the distribution of the carrying capacity of the city of Málaga, say the young entrepreneurs.

‘EnigMálaga’ is presented as a kind of open-air tourist treasure hunt, to be developed and/or completed in a totally free way over time. The game consists of finding out the main enigma of a theme or route. The city is divided into eleven districts and the aim is to establish fifteen game points (per route) distributed among the various sites of tourist interest in the different districts of the city. These game points form a specific themed route, although it is intended that there will be several routes. The game points will be linked to a mobile application. When the user is in the tourist enclave, a character will appear in situ, using augmented reality (depending on the theme of the specific route to which the game point belongs); this character will be the protagonist of the enigma. The character will tell the user the history, legends, culture or curiosities of the point of interest where it is located, and also a story (fictitious or not) with which the user must interact to discover the final enigma of the route. The person in augmented reality will propose a riddle that the user will have to figure out. When the player manages to find the solution to the riddles given at each game point, he or she will have managed to solve the riddle of the given route and will enter, based on a score, into a ranking to opt for final prizes.

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