A game created by Glasgow Caledonian graduates has won a top gaming award during Scottish Games Week.
Marion’s Journey, a redesigned educational computer game focusing on the harsh realities of the Holocaust won the Creativity Award at the Scottish Games Awards, which are organised by the Scottish Games Network.
The game is an interactive story tailored to the oral testimony of Marion Camrass’ life during the Second World War. Marion’s story takes her from fleeing Poland in 1939, travelling across several countries, before settling in Glasgow in 1946.
Glasgow Caledonian graduates Máté Tóth Ridovics (BSc Computer Games – Art and Animation) and Thomas Salgarella (BSc Computer Games – Design) worked together to redesign the game earlier this year, which was originally produced as part of a University project.
The game’s redesign was commissioned by the Gathering the Voices charity, namely Hilary and Steven Anson, Claire and Howard Singerman, Dr David Shapiro, and Dr Angela Shapiro, who is an Honorary Fellow of Glasgow Caledonian University. Gathering the Voices collects and preserves the stories of those who found sanctuary in Scotland following remarkable journeys escaping Nazi-dominated Europe.
The redesign of this Holocaust-educational resource was partly funded by grants awarded by The Association of Jewish Refugees, members of the Glasgow Jewish Community, and the German Consulate in Edinburgh.
Glasgow Caledonian University has also co-partnered with Gathering the Voices to develop a lasting spoken-word repository, documenting the moving oral histories of Holocaust survivors and Jewish people who fled their homes and re-established their lives in Scotland.
Dr Shapiro said: “I believe this is the first complete educational computer game that has been developed in Scotland about the Holocaust, and it is going to be used across the globe.
“What is wonderful about the redevelopment of Marion’s Journey is that has been carried out by two incredibly talented Glasgow Caledonian graduates.
“Máté and Thomas have been very generous in offering their time and services to help redevelop the game for a fraction of what it would usually cost to make a game.”
Hamid Homatash, Senior Lecturer in Applied Computer Games, was up for the Educator of the Year Award and the University’s BSc (Hons) Games Development programme was also nominated in the Best Educational Programme category. The University was placed at number one for Animation and Game Design in Scotland, according to Guardian University league table earlier this year, and second across the UK.
Hamid said: “At Glasgow Caledonian, we have been making continuous improvements to our games programmes and, again, it’s great to have this recognition from industry.”
More than 110 entries were received across the 15 categories for this year’s Scottish Games Awards, recognising and celebrating the achievement and success of individuals, organisations and games from across the whole Scottish Ecosystem.
The winners were announced at a ceremony on Thursday, November 2.