Museums At Play: Games, Interaction and Learning

Museums are using games in many ways – for interpretation, education, marketing, outreach and events. Museums at Play showcases tried and tested examples from the sector and seeks to inspire further informed use of games as part of the museum toolbox. It also draws on relevant experience from other sectors, and on the experience of game designers and theorists. It looks at learnings from other disciplines and explores the opportunities for interaction using gaming within museums.

Richly illustrated, Museums At Play is written by leading museum specialists from world-class institutions and specialists from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, UK and USA. In over 40 chapters and more than 650 pages, the book provides an extraordinary overview of the development, use and evaluation of games within museum and cultural contexts. Among the many important issues addressed through case studies, essays and opinion pieces are:

  1. How games can enhance interpretation, learning, outreach, marketing, branding and events.
  2. Using games with different audiences: children, adults, minorities, and people with disabilities.
  3. Assessment of different types of games in use: e.g. digital, physical, mobile, virtual, multi-player.
  4. The principles of successful game commissioning, budgeting, development and creation.
  5. The evaluation process and the impact of games.
  6. Future developments and trends.

Crowdsourcing Games
Mia Ridge, Science Museum

The Tate Kids Guide to Creating Games for Galleries

Sharna Jackson, Tate Kids

Telling Stories with Games
Joe Cutting

Salvatore Iaconesi, La Sapienza University of Rome, and Luca Simeone, FakePress

How Puzzles, Mysteries & Challenges Can Create Memorable Learning Experiences

Sarah Butler, Avoncroft Museum

New Ways of User Tagging as Museum Taxonomy and Classification

Toby Barnes, Mudlark

Playing With Light - An Interactive Science Exhibition
Sarah Bugg, Scitech, Australia

Smartphone Interaction in the Museum

Arnfinn Stendahl Rokne, Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, Norway

Transforming Museum Spaces Through Gaming
Alex Flowers, Museum of London

Museum Games and Interactive Narrative & Design
The Way We Tell Stories with Objects
: Elizabeth Goins, Rochester Institute of Technology

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose - Case Study
Lisa Ellsworth, Children's Discovery Museum

Art Heist at the New Art Gallery Walsall

Annette Mees, Coney Artist Collective

A New Audience Through Games
Martha Henson and Danny Birchall, Wellcome Collection

Time Explorers at the British Museum

David Prudames, British Museum

Invention at Play, An Award-winning Interactive Traveling Exhibition
Monica Smith, Smithsonian Lemelson Center

Exploring the Roles of Technology and Social Play in Art Museums
Isabel Froes, IT University Copenhagen and Kevin Walker, London KnowledgeLab

Using Games for ESL Teaching in Museums
Elisabeth Salmen, The World of James Herriot

Playing, Recording and Archiving Playground Games
Grethe Mitchell, University of East London

Exploring The Art of Video Games
Georgina Goodlander, Smithsonian Institution

Developing Interactive Games for Children

Rhiannon Looseley, Museum of London

Immersive and Alternate Reality Games in Museums
Alex Moseley, Museum Studies, University of Leicester

La Loteria: Guided Interaction through Visitor-Exhibition Interface
Pat Villeneuve, Florida State University and Mary Erickson, Arizona State University

The Games People Play - Case Study
Stephanie Lambert, Te Awamutu Museum, New Zealand

Porto Through the Game - A Playful Construction
Rosana Alexandre, Museum Casa do Infante, Portugal

Mobile gaming – No Strings Attached
Louise Downe, Tate

The Player’s Voice - Using Evaluation to Bring the Player into the Development Process
David Schaller, Eduweb and Kate Haley Goldman, Space Science Institute

Analogies Between Players’ Encounters with Game Space and Visitors’ Encounters with Museums
Tom Chatfield, Fun Inc.

The Interactive Chair

Margot Wallace, Museum Branding

Educational Games for Children
Christine Van Everbroeck, Royal Army Museum, Brussels

The Athlete Experience - Education, Economics and Interactive Sports Exhibits at the Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum, Canada

Gregory Ramshaw, Clemson University, USA

History at Play - Games, Learning Theory and Play Spaces
David Allison, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, USA

PlayStations in Heritage Education

David Sheldon, English Heritage

The Watertower - Augmented Reality Gaming for Heritage
Gregory Sporton and Iona Makiola, Birmingham City University

Games, Fun and Adventure - The History of Games, Toys and Play
Carly Hughes, Pine Rivers Heritage Museum, Australia

Learning Moments - Museum Education and Families
Almadis Kristinsdottir, Reykjavik Art Museum

Reinventing the Tryon Palace Experience Through Multimedia Interpretation

Clay Gish, ESI Design, New York City

Toy Museums at a Glance
Tulin Sener, Ankara University, Turkey

Synergy Between Simulation Games and Other Interactive Elements in Exhibitions
Alexander Goldowsky, EcoTarium, USA

Interpreting Work Through Games

Christina Alderman, Walker Art Center, USA

Make a Difference! Miller Family Youth Exhibition
Rachel Hellenga, Illinois Holocaust & Education Center

Learning about Palaeontology Through Interactive Games
Carles Sora, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona.

Katy Beale is co-founder and director of Caper, an agency that inspires disruptive thinking and digital innovation across culture, creative, technology and not-for-profit sectors. Katy has been delivering award-winning, landmark projects for creative, cultural and heritage organizations since 2001, specialising in building new networks and audiences, creating communication and digital strategies, and producing content. She has worked with Culture Hack, Royal Academy of Arts, Tate, Royal Opera House, Crafts Council, Science Museum and BBC Radio 3. She also speaks regularly at conferences, specialising in reinventing the cultural sector through digital technology.

Title: Museums At Play – Games, Interaction and Learning

Editor: Katy Beale
Pages: 654
Illustrations: 150
Size: 216 x 140mm
Date: 2011
Editions: £64.95 (paperback) | £99.95 [hardback] | £34.95 [eBook]

ISBN: 978-1-907697-13-5 [paperback]
ISBN: 978-1-907697-14-2 [hardback]
ISBN: 978-1-907697-35-7 [eBook] 


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