Players with an interest in the game "CHRT: Vltava Rising" (Cultural Heritage Rescue Team) lead a rescue team to protect cultural assets from a Moldova flood. In an entertaining way, the importance of rescue plans and the procedure in detail in the event of a crisis are shown. Danube University Krems participated in the EU Interreg research project "ProteCHt2save", which provided the information, and continues in the follow-up project "STRENCH".
Moldova's water levels are rising by the hour reaching dangerous levels, and those responsible must act quickly to avert imminent damage: Only three days before a devastating flood in Prague, the APP "CHRT: Vltava Rising" hands over to the player the management in this crisis scenario. The game does not focus on keeping everyday life of a big city running or protecting the essential infrastructure, but rather on the preservation of irretrievable cultural heritage. The game loosely refers to the experiences made in securing art objects in Prague's Troja Castle in the wake of the 2002 floods.
Players learn how an Emergency Operations Center works, which organizations and authorities cooperate, and how the procedure for rescuing cultural heritage is designed precisely. The team sets out on its mission to complete the typical tasks that are crucial for proper security and evacuation in the fictitious Béla Castle with the necessary permits in hand.
Research at first hand
The results of the three-year research project "ProteCHt2save" were evaluated and prepared as a playable narrative to provide a factual and scientific foundation for the game "CHRT: Vltava Rising". With the imparted knowledge in the gameplay, the players learn how the cultural heritage of their own city, region and country can be protected, even in a preventive way. The game displays the region's actually existing cultural heritage objects thanks to the cooperation of all partner institutions this EU Interreg Central Europe project comprises. A virtual exhibition showcases the artifacts and gives insight into the rich cultural heritage of Central Europe. Austrian artworks are presented by artists from the city of Krems (part of the holdings of the Belvedere Museum in Vienna) and historical documents from the Melk abbey. Danube University Krems is also a partner in the follow-up project to "ProteCHt2save", the currently running project "STRENgthening Resilience of Cultural Heritage at risk in a changing environment through proactive transnational cooperation" (STRENCH).
Kimberly Himmer, president and lead game developer of Articulated Python, developed the educational game. The company focuses on Serious Games for adult education. Himmer gained familiarity with cultural heritage through years of working with experts in the field, as well as working on a training game for cultural heritage protection – Cultural Recon.
"CHRT: Vltava Rising" is available free on iOS and Android via the App Store and Google Play.