A pixel-art video game set in the Gran Sasso National Laboratories
Gran Sasso Videogame is a pixel-art video game set in the Gran Sasso National Laboratories of the INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare), the world’s largest underground research center. here international teams of researchers carry out experiments on neutrino physics, dark matter and nuclear astrophysics.
the protagonist of the game is the alien Zot, who finds himself by mistake in the tunnels of the Laboratories and must complete four experiments in order to return home. as Zot, the player comes into contact with physics concepts in a simple and intuitive way and can find interesting facts and insights into the real research taking place in the laboratories.
the video game was developed for boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 19, as part of the PILA – Physics In Ludic Adventure project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, having called for proposals for “Initiatives for the dissemination of scientific culture” and supported by INDIRE. the production of the video game was entrusted to the production company of Ivan Venturi, a pioneer of the Italian video game industry.
as partner in the project, coordinated by the INFN, formicablu contributed to the conception of the game, edited the fact sheets and educational materials. formicablu also edited the gadgets of the video game, with graphic designer Valentina Marcon. these were distributed at the launch of the beta version of the video game, at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories open day, 2018.
we also participated in the launch of its experimentation in schools, starting with the first presentation to teachers at the Didacta fair (2018) and with the formation of a focus group (2019) with teachers at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories.
this video game achieved an award at the FORUM PA 2018, in the competition “Sustainable PA: 100 projects to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030”, it was in fact considered the outstanding project in the category “human capital and education”.