PROJECT NUMBER 2020-1-DE02-KA204-007391
COMPASS GEOCACHING CULTURAL ROUTE
Compass Goecaching cultural route is a game based on the classic “treasure hunt” scheme, in which teams of players compete against each other reaching locations and solving dynamical quizzes as fast as they can.
To make languages more fun and connect them with heritage learning, we have developed a digital tool to enhance active ageing and simple language acquisition!
How so? Firstly, we have developed an interesting guide that could describe in a simple manner and with plain language the places that have been involved by COMPASS. From those, we have developed a handful of quizzes that could support language learning and that could be easily understood by total beginners of any age. Especially, we maintained language plain and easy to be interpreted. Through the usage of Telegram chatbots, we have developed an unconventional treasure hunt chat where participants are challenged with straightforward knowledge tasks and at the same time can have the chance to physically walk at their own pace through the heritage patterns chosen by COMPASS educators.
All players of a game session split up into teams (ideally composed of 2–10 people), which compete against each other.
Each team picks a “team leader”, who represents the entire team during the game. The team leader will interact with the game’s bot through his or her Telegram account.
The other players in the same team will help the team leader to reach the locations, look for QR Codes, and solve dynamical quizzes.
In order to participate in a game, the team leader must first scan the registration QR Code on behalf of his or her team. The QR Code will be distributed ahead of the game by the game organizers.
With the ensuing conversation with the bot, the following questions will be asked:
- A simple introduction quiz to verify that players understand the game’s rules,
- The team’s name,
- The number of team members (team leader included),
- An avatar picture that represents the team (or a picture of the team itself).
All teams gather at the game’s starting location, at a given time, provided by the game organizers ahead of the game. Organizers will show players the start QR Code (that is, the code identifying the starting location).
As soon as team leaders scan the code, the game will start.
The game si structured as follows:
- The team reaches a location (either the starting location or any intermediate one),
- The team snaps a selfie, which serves as proof of reaching the location,
- A quiz is assigned and solved by the players (the correct answer must be sent to the bot as a simple text message, if the given solution is wrong the team will have to wait for 30 seconds before trying again),
- The next location is assigned, go to step (1); if all locations have been reached, the last location is assigned,
- Last team selfie,
- The final quiz is assigned and solved by the team,
- The game is over.
REQUIREMENTS BEFORE STARTING
Compass Geocaching cultural route makes use of the Telegram instant messaging platform in order to offer an accessible and easy-to-use game experience, both for players and game administrators. The game is based on the classical “treasure hunt” scheme, with player teams challenging each other looking for specific places and solving quizzes.
Each game location is identified by a square barcode (a so-called “QR Code”).
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO PLAY
The following requirements must be satisfied by the game administrator and by at least one person for each team (the so-called “team leader”).
- 📱 Smartphone (with a fully charged battery 🔋),
- 👨💼 Telegram account,
- 🌐 Data connection,
- 📷 QR Code scanner app.
Read below for additional details.
Any recent smartphone with GPS and a photocamera can be used to play the game.
Compass Geocaching cultural route has been successfully tested on the following operating systems: iOS or Android
Telegram is an instant messaging system (just like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger), freely available on the App Store and Google Play Store.
In order to use Telegram you must first register and activate a user account, which can also be done for free through the application, by providing a working mobile phone number.
Only administrators and team leaders need a Telegram account. However, Compass Geocaching cultural route allows anybody to follow an active game through Telegram “public channels”, to which any Telegram user can subscribe to.
The game is built on a conversation with a Telegram “bot”, which collects information and provides instructions to players. This communication requires an active data connection.
In some indoor places there might be a spotty or poor cell phone coverage: in this case it might be useful to check for the presence of Wi-Fi connections. Remember that communication with a Telegram bot is opportunistic: if you scan a QR Code or provide a quiz solution while no data connection is available, Telegram will re-establish the communication as soon as possible.
Scanning QR Codes, using the GPS, and communicating with the bot requires power: make sure that the team leader’s smartphone is fully charged before starting the game. It may be useful to bring a portable USB charger with you.
QR CODE SCANNER
A QR Code scanner is a mobile phone application that scans the barcodes used by the game to identify locations.
First, make sure whether your operating system supports QR Code scanning out of the box. Open the Camera app and point it towards the following QR Code. On iOS or recent Android versions, a clickable link overlay should be displayed.
Once you click on the link, the Telegram app will be launched. Click on “start” in order to send the link to the bot, which will provide confirmation that the QR Code scanner works.
If your camera app does not work, you will need to install a QR Code scanner app.
“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”