In the last week we have been surveying the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai Muangkao with the objective of using mobile technology and games for the benefit of tourists. The inspiration for applying games in the local context of Sukhothai comes from work undertaken by Dr. Carolina Islas Sedano (co-founder of games start-up Ubium) and researchers at the University of Eastern Finland. They have worked on contextual games in various locations in Finland, including the Pielisen Museo in Lieksa and the
Museo of Technology in Helsinki.
Carolina, who has been visiting Naresuan University (NU) for 3 weeks, is working in a partnership with the Mobile Computing Lab’s “Area Based Collaboration” (ABC) project funded by the Thailand Research Fund and NU. The project aims to create a sustainable impact on tourism in the local area through mobile technology and games. The current focus is on analysing the feasibility of a game for tourists at Sukhothai, and therefore we have been undertaking surveys with support from the Office of Sukhothai Muangkao, the Sukhothai Historical Park and the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum. It has been an extremely successful and eye-opening experience — talking to officers, tour guides and tourists themselves, we have learnt a good deal.