Carrick Castle siege app up for innovation award

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An app which uses interactive role play to bring the 1315-16 Bruce Siege of Carrick Castle to a new audience has been shortlisted for an innovation award.

Siege! At Carrickfergus Castle is a mobile educational tool which aims to examine the pivotal period in local history.

The app, produced by Digital Key Limited and released last year, has been nominated for the Kieran Hegarty Award for Innovation in this year’s Celtic Media Festival.

Taking place from April 2-4 in Cornwall, the festival celebrates the unique languages and cultures of the Celtic nations and regions on screen and in broadcasting.

The event also recognises the use of technology in an innovative, interactive and creative way, with Walkabout St Ives, Edinburgh Book Trail, The Museum of Welsh Cricket and Dyma Fi TV also shortlisted.

Produced in collaboration with NIEA and funded by the Arts Council’s Creative Industries Innovations Fund, Siege! contains atmospheric audio and video medieval re-enactments.

It embeds the game’s narrative in the grounds of Carrickfergus Castle to create an engaging and immersive learning experience.

The game is aimed at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils studying the Normans, as well as family groups and young adults.

The app begins with brief introductory videos and the user’s mission.

The player must take on the role of the Earl of Ulster and agree to defend Carrickfergus Castle against the invading army.

In order to successfully defend the castle they must survey the stronghold and assess its defensive capabilities. Secondly, the user must select a suitable military strategy to rebuff a Scottish attack and decide how to deploy his men at key defensive positions around the castle.

The player’s military decisions will affect the outcome of the game; the better the defence, the more lives will be saved resulting in a greater reward. Poor military decisions will render the castle defenceless.