Hasta la vista! Game on for Cu Chulainn
A SPANISH software expert has devised a computer game based on the adventures of Cu Chulainn after falling in love with the Irish language.
Francisco Blazquez (46), who is from Madrid, first came to Ireland when he was 18 to learn English.
But he was so taken with the Irish language that when he returned home he signed up for classes at the official language school in his native city.
The software consultant has been based in Ireland since 2010, and Francisco and his partner Eva Garcia are now set to launch their new game 'In Cu Chulainn's Footsteps' on Thursday at Croke Park.
The game features music from Clannad, Kila and Sharon Shannon, and legendary broadcaster Micheal O Muircheartaigh also provides a voiceover for part of the game - in English and in Irish.
"The idea is to promote Irish," said Francisco. "Our aim is to create a portal with many games."
The game can be played in both Irish and English, swapping and mixing both languages as the player wishes.
"It is aimed for children aged between eight and 12, or perhaps slightly older. Players lead Cu Chulainn through a mysterious island, solving puzzles and riddles to find the way out of there," said Francisco, who has formed his own company, Duineacu.
He said that along with the game, players will also find information related to Irish culture including music, literature, sports and legends. It is a 3D adventure played in the third person, driven by mouse clicks or taps on the screen.
A licence to play the game is bought online, he said.
Meanwhile, in the school version, teachers can very easily change the content, the voiceovers and the text.
Francisco, who has three children - Andrea (14), Iria (12) and Adrian (7) and lives in Trim - revealed that he regularly visits the Meath Gaeltacht village of Rath Cairn in a bid to continually improve his Irish.
For further information see: www.cuadventure.com.