This computer game combines entertainment with
information about Monturiol’slife and work, and is
designed to introduce the Catalan
inventor to 11- and 12-year-olds.
On the 28th June 1859 the submarine Ictineu was launched, which was the first of two underwater vessels built by the Catalan intellectual, scientist and inventor Narcís Monturiol. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the event, the Monturiol Year was celebrated from June 2009 to June 2010.
The Department of Economy and Knowledge, via the General Research Board, wanted to pay homage to this figure and his science, all the while teaching his social and political context to primary school students.
The game can be found on the web at the address, and will be promoted by the Department of Education via the Edu365 (http://www.edu365.cat/) and Xtec (http://www.xtec.cat/) portals. Narcís Monturiol is designed for 5th and 6th year primary school students. The users can choose between various levels within the game inspired by the figure of Narcís Monturiol. Knowledge about the scientist’s work and life is required to advance through the game and change levels. For this reason, the gamers have to read the information presented in the game in the form of virtual books.
Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol (Figueres, 1819-Sant Martí de Provençals, 1885) was educated in Cervera and Barcelona, where he studied Law. As a politician, he defended the Republican cause and took on various positions, amongst them the director of the National Stamp Factory. His republican affiliation cost him his exile. He also dedicated himself to journalism. As far as his work as an inventor goes, in 1857 he created a company to study underwater navigation, which took him to create his first submarine, Ictineu I. The vessel was 7 metres long and was tested in the port of Barcelona in 1859. He had no support from the state and his second submarine, Ictineu II (the first steam-powered one) was sold for scrap iron in 1868. He also invented other machines as well as a process to simplify the production of adhesive paper. Similarly, he planned a funicular tramway, a velograph (a type of typewriter), a method of preserving meats and also contributed to the works to bring water from the Ter river to Barcelona.