The challenge is to make discovering new cultures a pleasant and accessible experience extending beyond traditional learning environments.
The evil owl Silencio has struck! If nothing is done, the world’s greatest and most diversified orchestra will remain silent forever. Here is the starting point of Sound Infusion, the tablet application currently being developed by Melbourne based Cultural Infusion.
Cultural Infusion, under its CEO and founder, Peter Mousaferiadis, is a social enterprise that works in education, youth, communities and the arts to promote cultural harmony and wellbeing through shows and workshops for a more cohesive and richer society. By 2016, the organisation will launch a new version of Sound Infusion. The game is currently in its design phase and will be an extension of an already existing web platform that everyone can currently access for free. People of all ages can create their own compositions whilst learning about cultures from around the world by incorporating different samples of global instruments. Cultural Infusion commissioned musicians to produce the loops with over 100 instruments, and with plans to extend this to at least another 100. The program can be used at home or in your classroom by visiting here. The new Sound Infusion project is about making the whole experience even more entertaining by including structured level progression to completion and the possibility of unlocking items by learning through an adventure.
As a social enterprise, Cultural Infusion has been developing intercultural understanding in schools and the community for the past 10 years through their creative intercultural programs and events. The organisation is committed to contributing to a culturally and socially cohesive society that values the richness of our collective heritage. Its goal is to build cultural harmony and wellbeing by utilising Australia’s cultural richness to benefit society as a whole and using artistic expression as a means of promoting social cohesion. It is now moving into digital projects to make a greater impact on a larger scale to access both national and international audiences. This new project is the continuation of Cultural Infusion’s commitment to bringing better understanding of the world’s cultures extending beyond live performances and into digital entertainment.
The new tablet game will give students and adults of all ages the chance to go on a journey around the globe to save the world’s instruments led by the friendly bird Joko. Players will visit dozens of countries on every continent to defeat the enemy, Silencio, as they uncover each stolen instrument piece by piece in order to make the world’s orchestra play again. The quest will vary in levels of difficulty, as each instrument will need to be earned through passing a series of challenges. In order to succeed, the player will be given a travel guide for each country visited with information on the intercultural knowledge required to save an instrument.
Factual content and knowledge-based tasks prepared by experienced educators will include a history timeline, country statistics and sections on people, language, customs, the arts and music. The ultimate goal, once all countries and challenges have been completed, is to rescue Heribert, Joko’s father, who is the conductor of the world’s greatest diverse orchestra, and who was originally captured by Silencio. By the end of their journey around the world, the players will not only have given life back to the orchestra but they will also have gained considerable knowledge about cultures and music from around the globe.
Cultural Infusion has successfully completed its first demo and is currently planning to produce a prototype before developing the full game. Sound Infusion will be much more than a lonely quest around the globe. As each instrument is collected, they will be stored in the music hall where you will be able to practise, via a simplified and intuitive loop-based studio. Throughout challenges players will also be able to collect extra samples to jam with different tunes. The aim is to make mixed compositions downloadable to be able to be shared with others. Depending on how long you play the game, you can progress through five stages starting as a Novice, Amateur, Professional, Scholar, and ultimately ending as a Virtuoso.
The main asset of the application is the possibility it offers to share one’s musical creations. In a school environment, students will be able to share their compositions in class with teachers who have the ability to share course plans. As the application will primarily be used by players from mid-primary to secondary school, plans are to tailor the game for different age groups. Through a control console, specific sections of the game, selected by the teacher, can be facilitated in the classroom, and a student’s progress can be monitored. Teachers will gain access to an ever-expanding backend database of game content, from which they can create and share lessons.
The educational game is a clever combination of two worlds that usually are not integrated together. From music games like Incredibox, Sound Infusion takes the improvisation principle and enriches it with diverse world music instruments that can be selected, each with multiple samples. Experience the fun of Crashbandicoot and Super Mario Bros platform challenges including using the music to fill an auditorium, impress famous musicians, weaken Silencio’s evil power before his minions come, busk for money, with time trials and high score achievements.
The game’s cartoon style has been incorporated to make the educational game ‘fun’. To paraphrase a classic Australian advertising campaign “Don’t tell them it’s educational and they’ll consume it by the boxful”. The challenge is to make discovering new cultures a pleasant and accessible experience extending beyond traditional learning environments. Our illustrators will create interesting backgrounds relevant to the country and task at hand. Sound Infusion is a global project with international advisors currently informing the game’s development. With Cultural Infusion’s local team representing a broad spectrum of nationalities, there is a commitment to ensuring content is engaging, respectful and relevant. The goal of this app is to make intercultural learning more accessible in the same way Mathletics turned the fastidious hours of maths exercises into a pleasant an attractive game for students to play. The new Sound Infusion game will be both enjoyable and informative, combining the universally attractive use of music to bring the world’s knowledge to young audiences.