The Isle of Cumbrae has been recreated in Minecraft, a popular world-building video game, as part of a project to engage young people with the area’s rich heritage.
Students from Abertay University in Dundee built Cumbraecraft, a heritage-themed game for primary school children, as part of the Millport Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, which is being delivered by North Ayrshire Council and Historic Environment Scotland.
Housed on the Minecraft education platform, Cumbraecraft comes with eight distinct lessons and is designed to allow children to explore local heritage landmarks and learn more about their history.
Garrison House, Lion Rock and Cathedral of the Isles are just some of the places featured on the virtual island.
Crocodile Rock, the port and the town’s library are also explorable in the game.
Games students Claire Monaghan, Fergus Coyne and Romain Bourdon worked on the project for three months while studying at Abertay’s internationally-renowned School of Design and Informatics – Europe’s top ranked institution for video games education.
The students were supported by Teaching Fellow Kayleigh Macleod and other staff members to ensure the project aligned with their studies.
Due to the current travel restrictions, the trio were unable to visit the island before they began their work and had to use images as their only point of reference.
Fergus Coyne said: “Making Cumbraecraft allowed us to use the range of skills we’ve learned on our courses at Abertay to create a fun product that will be used in the real-world.
“It was great to be able to create a game which will allow children to learn more about the history of their local area as well as showcase the tourism offering on the island.”
Kayleigh Macleod added: “This exciting project has offered three of our fantastic students not only real industry experience producing work for a client that will be used by hundreds of children but also in the challenge of remote working.
“Cumbrae Craft demonstrates how games can engage with heritage and provide a useful teaching tool to help children interact with and learn complex topics.”
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