Touring Around Hanyang With 'Tambang Tambang'
Shin Kang-soo (Policy Studies, 3rd year) and Noh Ung-gi (Sports Industry, 3rd year)
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Nowadays, with the official launch of Pokémon Go in Korea, augmented reality games have become more familiar to people. ‘Tambang Tambang’ (tambang being a Korean word, meaning 'explore') is an augmented reality game which leads users to tour around the Hanyang campus while completing missions. The application was released on March 15th this year. Tambang Tambang was created by four students: its founder and leader Shin Kang-soo (Department of Policy Studies, 3rd year) and three members, Noh Ung-gi (Department of Sports Industry, 3rd year), Kim Na-yeun (Department of Applied Art Education, 4th year), and Yoo Eun-seo (Department of Applied Art Education, 4th year). Shin and No spoke about the stories behind Tambang Tambang.
Let’s go tambang in HYU
Playing Tambang Tambang is fairly easy, which makes it greatly accessible. One simply has to take a photo of a required sculpture or an object suggested in silhouette to pass each course. Once one completes a mission, he or she will be allowed to continue onto the next destination within the game. A major characteristic of the game lies in its feature that allows users to gain further information about an object or a specific place while playing the game, visiting the actual spot at the same time.
The initiative model of Tambang Tambang is currently based on the HYU Seoul Campus. “As there are hundreds of high school or middle school students visiting HYU, we thought it could be hard for them to tour around the campus more effectively without a proper guide,” said Shin. Tambang Tambang aims to target those students, as playing the game will naturally lead them to learn about the campus as well.
Currently, as one of the main way to advertise the game, they have collaborated with Saranghandae, the school's student ambassador group. “We designed the courses along with Saranghandae, the courses will include the school’s important spots like the Lion’s Rumble, Paiknam Library, and 88-stairs. The game will be later used in the campus tour program by Saranghandae,” said Noh.
From assignment to business
Four students with different majors first met one another through a lecture called ‘Social Entrepreneurship’, where students were expected to build and plan their own social business. “Our final assignment was to present our whole plan in front of the professor and the director of HYU social innovation center, Seo Jin-seok. After the presentation, Shin and his members received a suggestion from the director to make their project as an application. “I was really excited to be given the opportunity to proceed with the project. It wasn’t the first time that I had participated in a start-up business, but it was new for me to be the founder while leading the whole team,” explained Shin.
For Shin and the members, making proper content, like the campus trajectories, and developing an application based on that was surely arduous work. “We had to spend hours actually visiting places we hadn't actually had a chance to visit. We got help from an existing walking course called Doollehgil, HYU’s campus trails that encompasses the campus’s 8 scenic points,” said Noh. Through enough research and incorporation of recommendations they received from their fellow students, Shin and his team were soon able to discover more spots worth taking note of.
Making the overall contents of the game was the job of Shin and Noh. Designing was taken on by Kim and Yoo, who are capable of dealing with related computer programs. With financial support from HYU Social Innovation Center, they are currently being helped out with other technical problems through outsourcing.
Learning through playing
Currently, Shin and Noh said the number of downloads for Tambang Tambang stands at about 200. Of course, they aren't fully satisfied with the results, which is why they have been planning on creating bigger business models to upgrade Tambang Tambang. “We thought of creating Tambang Tambang as part of another game to introduce museums that exhibits materials regarding history, especially Korean history,” said Shin. Just like how Tambang Tambang can be played on HYU's Seoul Campus, the new version will work as a medium between museums and visitors.
“We found out that the current methods of learning Korean history contributes negatively to its understanding among teenagers. There are various reasons for that, but the most critical one is that it usually fails to retain students’ attention as the subject itself is oriented towards memorizing,” said Shin. Tambang Tambang aims to increase students' interest in Korean history by making the learning process more entertaining.
Certainly, there is still a long way for Shin and his team to go. “Three months was definitely not enough time for us to complete all the necessary work. We'll have to upgrade the game on many different aspects such as its music and effects,” mentioned Noh. “In the near future, we hope to become successful enough to support students who are living far away from Seoul to give them a chance to come to HYU,” said Shin and Noh.
Yun Ji-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Moon Hana
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