• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Museum games hack

Page history last edited by Mia 12 years, 11 months ago Saved with comment

We want to make a museum games hack and invite people like you so we thought we’d ask you what you’d like...


How would a museum games hack work?  And can you take non-gamers and get them making games in 24 hours?


Have you been to a games hack? What worked well or didn’t work?


Other questions:


  1. If you could have access to anything in a museum (to make a game), what would it be? objects, stories, people...
  2. What would you get out of taking part in a games hack?
  3. Who would it be for?

This is an open call out for people who might be interested in joining in or finding out more as we work it out.


Questions for organisers:

  • What's our motivation for running the event?
  • What would be the goal of the event itself?


Keep in touch

Interested in keeping in touch or finding out more? Add your name (and URL, twitter account, etc) below.


Mary Hamilton, @newsmary

Harry Harrold, @harryharrold


Possible activities


Ask curators (and other non-gamey museum attendees) to play some games from a suggested list, and note down three good and three bad things about each - helps people experience the fun of different types of games, and start to think critically about how they work. 


During the event


Notes from session at London Gamecamp 4...

[Really rough notes, sorry! Please comment or edit where I've missed bits - Mia]

  • What's the museums' motivation for making games?  Education, making the galleries come alive, sharing the joy of museums, helping people understand an object...
  • Polish is hard with small resources
  • Meta-games about museums in general...
  • Remember Treasure Hunt with Annika Rice?  - taking a space, buiding puzzles aroud it, working out where are the connections. Hacking the space, hacking the institution.
  • Offer people access to things they wouldn't normally have access to, and spaces they wouldn't normally see.
  • British Museum Lates with Egyptian exhibit [leads to] could we simulate a heist?  It's been done! Art heist at Walsall Museum - forge a work of art and steal the original.  Has to have that feeling of transgressiveness to work.
  • Zombie dinosaurs?
  • Location-triggered objects in games based on visits to spaces in/museums - a mission that takes you into a museum.
  • Echo Bazaar game in V&A - saw things in a whole new light though wasn't actually directed learning.
  • Hack at history hack day - phone up and give age and it matches you to a passenger on the Titatnic.  Games don't have to be long, expensive, they can just have an effect on one small artefact or action.
  • Cross museum stuff - matches objects or parts of objects across museums.

What worked about games hack events?

Good partnerships between developers and other people. Needed more pre-briefing and preparation. Multi-disciplined small teams works well but needs facilitating.  Setting up boundary conditions - not just 'make a game' - specific brief, possibly from the organisation. like social innovation, good for nothing. Having a clear idea of what you want for audiences (eg) and being able to convey it.
[need something in advance to bring non-game people up on games and help them feel competent at the event, maybe an extra day?]
Set up tours of the different museums as dates between museum people and game people?
Make clear brief also acts as call to action - get really passionate people turning up.
Aim to get something playable as soon as possible, playtest early and often.


Tweets from @harryharrold during the session:

  • why games in museums? Better edu. Games, different ways to engage with the collections, more fun for adults, more open/available stuff.
  • museums make bad games because they don't know how to make better games.
  • metagames about museums rather events-at-a-time... building puzzles in a space. Maybe with competition... hacking the collection
  • access to space, access to objects, access to the backworld. Nearly free... someone has done an artheist game.OMG.
access to space, access to objects, access to the backworld. Nearly free... someone has done an artheist game.OMG.

Comments (1)

Mia said

at 1:08 pm on May 15, 2011

There's also a discussion about broadening the attendance and outputs of hack days, particularly for cultural organisations, at http://museum-api.pbworks.com/w/page/40213729/Broadening-hack-days

You don't have permission to comment on this page.