Students of NHTV Breda’s Game Academy presented the game Van Gogh’s Zundert on 30 March 2013. On commission from the Vincent van GoghHuis in Zundert, they created a digital reconstruction of Van Gogh’s place of birth. It is a reconstruction of the town as it was when Van Gogh was there. The game Van Gogh’s Zundert is available via http://vangoghszundert.vangoghhuis.com. One of the game’s characters, of course, is Vincent van Gogh.
Unfortunately, many historical elements from Van Gogh’s days have disappeared. The house where Van Gogh was born was demolished in 1903. The majority of the historical buildings around the Markt and at Molenstraat only exist in people’s memories. It requires imagination to breathe new life into these memories and make them the subject of visitor experiences. In this respect, the permanent presentation of the Vincent van GoghHuis – The roots of a master – has paved the way.
Thanks to support from the Mastboom Brosens Stichting and Erfgoed Brabant, NHTV Breda was commissioned to have students from the International Game Architecture and Design programme carry out this project. In this process, they were supervised by Frank van Mourik of Cheesehead Animations. Based on old maps, drawings and pictures, they made a spatial reconstruction of the old town centre. This allows virtual visitors to ‘walk’ through the streets of the old Zundert, where they can even take a peek inside the house where Van Gogh was born.
The reconstruction of the old town centre serves as a point of departure for all sorts of applications, in terms of education (gaming) as well as advertising. Through a link with, for instance, Google Earth, internet visitors from all over the world can pay a virtual visit to Van Gogh’s Zundert. It will be an important ‘teaser’ to actually visit Van Gogh’s place of birth and the Vincent van GoghHuis. All in all, a strong boost for the Van Gogh experience in Zundert. What’s more, this virtual Zundert is also a useful publicity tool for Van Gogh Brabant and the European Van Gogh Route.
Play The Game: http://vangoghszundert.vangoghhuis.com
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by Nina van den Broek en Wouter Braaksma