School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Gaming model scoops international prize

A scale model of a Renaissance Italian walled city, created as part of the Gradara project, won the Best Presented Game award at the Salute Wargames Convention - the largest of its kind in the world, with around 10,000 attendees - in London recently.

The Gradara  Project is funded by the European Union and the Italian Government, it is part of a larger local regeneration project, and it is a collaboration between the municipal government of the Italian town of Gradara (near Rimini), Dr. Gianluca Raccagni of the University of Edinburgh (bringing expertise on how to combine history and gaming), Dr. Daniele Sacco of the University of Urbino (archaeological expertise), and the British company Oshiro Model Terrain. With around half a million visitors per year, Gradara is the leading tourist attraction in the Italian region of Le Marche.

The Gradara model with the team who designed and built it.
The team behind the Gradara model with their award.

A growing list of games companies from the UK and abroad are involved in it too, including the British company Masterstroke Games, the German Ulisses Spiele, and the Italian Acheron Games. 

The project is unique in the way it meets the creation of a museum-quality historical diorama and gaming, in the sense that the diorama is designed both to be displayed in a heritage site and to be played with by using interactive storytelling tools such as wargames and role-playing games. 

The scale model is a recreation of the walled town of Gradara as it looked during the Renaissance, and it will be placed within a dedicated room within the keep of the castle of Gradara itself, but it is also made to be transported to events and games conventions. In Gradara, it will be made available to residents, tourists, and for school projects, to be admired, but also to be played with, and for creative and educational projects covering a historical period that ranges from the Renaiisance to WWII.

The model will be taken on a tour of games conventions in Europe, including Modena Play in May (40,000 attendees), and Spiele Essen in October (which is the largest tabletop games convention in the world, with 200.000 attendees). The model will be inaugurated with a special event at Gradara in June.

Find out more about the Gradara Project below on its blog.

The Gradara Project