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Making the Way by Playing

By Sergio F. Aldrey | 19/07/2022

Making the Way by Playing

We say nothing new when we say that there are many roads that reach Santiago and many ways to get there. Walking, cycling, boat or horseback riding are the most common means. For this purpose the pilgrim needs some physical preparation, organizing the route, planning overnight stays… Do you imagine a different way to travel the route without any of that, but keeping the spirit of the pilgrimage and a difficulty comparable to what the Camino offers?

In this article we want to present you with a different way of pilgrimage to Santiago in which the main thing is not to have a more or less decent physical state to travel kilometers, but a state of mind awake and full of intuition that will help you solve challenges whose solution can be found on the internet.

This novel and virtual form we have called “Challenges on the Road” and after the project you will find Agustín Fonseca, an expert in games and hobbies; Aníbal Voyer, programmer and informatics; and myself, Sergio F. Aldrey, a psychologist specialized in brain training and a pilgrim addict.

The idea was born as a result of the restrictions and isolations of the pandemic and we gradually became a game that would make the Camino known to the neophytes and put the veterans to the test. In designing it, we intend to emulate a long duration pilgrimage, with the most characteristic components found by those travelling the Jacobean route:

-a credential to seal each stage.

- a minimum duration of four weeks.

-the need to adapt to norms and routines that are repeated step after step.

- the implementation of consistency, discipline and tenacity.

-the possibility of sending postcards from the Camino to your acquaintances.

-the temptation and possibility of using a car broom if the thing gets bad.

- the right to receive a diploma similar to the Compostela.

-the pleasure of being lost by the ruas of Santiago discovering stories and anecdotes of the city.

In our premiere, we focused on the French Way. Each stage starts with a small “breakfast” with five generic questions about the Camino. Their themes are very diverse: historical facts, road characters, monuments, films and books, stamps… A perfect quiz to discover how much you know about the Camino or start your research in search of knowledge.

After the “breakfast” test you will have to face a challenge whose structure and functioning is repeated in each of the stages. A virtual visit, a geographical map of the route, a drawing to interpret… all the clues together will approach the answer of the question we ask you. When you answer correctly, you will unlock a page explaining how to reach the solution. In addition, you can read a text of curiosities that help immerse yourself in the experience of the real pilgrimage, making known anecdotes and knowledge, as if of a travel guide.

And gradually you will arrive in Santiago to acquire your well-deserved eCompostela: a diploma that we have designed for the occasion and that will receive all those who reach the end of the game. This ending also bears a surprise: a bird's eye view of the city of Santiago that will allow you to discover places of interest and stories about the city of the Apostle.

This gamified pilgrimage with the French Way began its journey on July 1, 2022 and there are already dozens of pilgrims and pilgrims who have put their neurons to work to achieve the Jacobean goal. You can register at any time and take the time you need, no expiration. In addition, our project functions as traditional donor hostels. You don't have to pay anything if you can't afford it. Our goal is to give maximum publicity to the Camino de Santiago and to demonstrate that you can learn by playing.

Are you a rookie in this Camino? The game will help you learn interesting stories related to it while you have fun.

Are you a veteran expert? In addition to asking you to be pious of us, you will be able to test on the Jacobean knowledge and remember the scenarios that you traveled on your last pilgrimage.

Do you like challenges? No doubt here you will have entertainment for time.

Whatever your condition we propose the first challenge: to find ourselves and enroll in the game without more help than you have read in this article. Do you accept the challenge?


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