EPETAI is a 33-month project that focuses on the design and implementation of serious games that blend physical and digital elements, through the use of tangible objects and digital applications. In that direction, EPETAI addresses the design of “hybrid” games that place fine art collections in the heart of the game and thus feature the cultural content through the game experience, using game mechanics and physical materials that are commonly used in popular board games (such as cards, game boards, pawns). 
At the same time, EPETAI defines and implements a range of digital applications for mobile devices, which complement and expand the traditional game-based experience, using state-of-the art technologies (e.g. AR, motion gestures etc.), along with storytelling and social design techniques. 
The 3 main research goals that the EPETAI experience designs plan to address are: 
  1. Define a novel game interaction ecology that integrates physical to digital media, in a way that each medium meaningfully complements the other.
  2. Advance social interactions between a group of players who are collocated in the same physical space, fostering discussions and sharing of personal perspectives, thoughts and emotions around the cultural content, while also defining shared attention areas or/and introducing elements of cooperation and synchronized motion. 
  3. Investigate the impact that personal audio narrations and connections to musical works have, on the overall experience. 
In the business dimension, EPETAI moves away from the traditional model employed in board games, and proposes a hybrid “one to many” model, where the same physical materials are re-used in many types of games (implemented by different applications), in different ways per case. Overall, EPETAI aspires to design attractive, game-based experiences of high quality, which will feature the cultural content, and at the same time will be able to compete with popular board games. The final and broader goal of the project is to that “cultural collections find their way to our homes”, in the form of playful materials, which invite us to play entertaining or/and educational games, using them along with our personal mobile devices, as a modern, everyday life activity. At the same time, EPETAI also investigates the use of the suggested game-based experiences under the view of the broader cultural experience, considering use-case scenarios for the stages “before” and “after” the cultural visit, paying special attention to the latter.


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