a huge bird installation on a shallow pool in front of a backdrop of trees

Liverpool ONE and Thoughtworks create a virtual gaming experience

Liverpool ONE and Thoughtworks create a virtual gaming experience celebrating Ukraine and Liverpool

Liverpool ONE has teamed up with global technology experts Thoughtworks to create a virtual gaming experience for children to mark the Eurovision Song Contest that took place in Liverpool.

The new concept has been created as the city hosted the iconic event from 9-13 May on behalf of Ukraine, taking inspiration from The Soloveiko songbird trail in Liverpool and the digital model of the City of Liverpool created by the University of Liverpool.

A part of EuroFestival, the 14-day cultural festival across Liverpool, the Soloveiko songbird trail took visitors on a walking tour of Liverpool, a discovery journey of the regions of Ukraine through the songs and stories. Already, thousands of visitors have experienced the trail throughout the city.

The Soloveiko Songbird – nightingale in English – is the national bird of Ukraine and a symbol of song and happiness. A total of 12 soloveiko, each a large illuminated and bespoke decorated sculpture, were placed in unique locations around Liverpool to represent different regions of Ukraine. 

Now, the new gaming initiative will stand as a legacy for children and families to enjoy even after the world’s largest live music event concludes, with virtual and augmented reality technologies creating an exciting, interactive experience.

Upon locating each one, the nightingale will come to life with artwork and music from Anton Dehtiarov, a Ukrainian composer and Svitlana Reinish, creative lead and Ukrainian artist who are also featured in the Soloveiko songbird trail around Liverpool.

Once they have completed the game, children can design their own nightingale which their teachers can download and print as a worksheet.

Donna Howitt, Place Strategy Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “At Liverpool ONE, we’re excited to welcome visitors from around the world to experience our dynamic and thriving city and get involved in the incredible buzz of Eurovision.

“With a shared commitment to bring the spirit of song and community together, we’re thrilled to partner with Thoughtworks with its 30 years of experience at the forefront of innovation to create a virtual game experience that augments the live event and will delight the children of Liverpool and beyond as a legacy of Eurovision.” 

Working with EuroLearn, the educational programme curated for Eurovision, 10 primary schools from across Liverpool will kick off the gaming experience by finding the trail that leads to the 12 nightingales, which are at locations including Thomas Steers Way and Chavasse Park at Liverpool ONE. Many of the schools have been provided with complimentary laptops to easily access the gaming experience.

“Thoughtworks is excited to partner with Liverpool ONE in creating an imaginative and compelling digital gaming experience that will captivate children and showcase the unique beauty and culture of the cities of Ukraine as well as key landmarks in Liverpool. 

“This project demonstrates how technology can be used to augment live events and showcase cities around the world at premier events such as Eurovision.”

Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer, Thoughtworks

“EuroLearn has been designed to ensure children across Liverpool City Region are part of the Eurovision experience and this is a great example of just that.

“The game that Thoughtworks has developed is a fun and exciting way of teaching children about the culture of Ukraine, for which Liverpool is hosting Eurovision on behalf.”

Alicia Smith, Arts and Participation Manager, Culture Liverpool

Laura Burke, a teacher at Pinehurst Primary School in Liverpool, said: “The children are really enjoying the game. When playing, they have been very enthusiastic , really enjoyed seeing the ariel views of the city, flying in and out of the buildings. 

“They have loved seeing their scores at the end – asking if they can play again!”

Taking a product thinking and lean product development approach, the organisations ideated, designed and delivered the interactive game filled with beautiful art, resonant music and memorable moments for children.

The Soloveiko Songbird Trail Gaming experience is available via: https://storage.googleapis.com/the-nightingale-game/index.html

Supported with funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Spirit of 2012 and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, EuroLearn provides a unique opportunity for schools, and non-school educational settings, to celebrate all things Eurovision by taking part in and delivering their own events.