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MW18 Workshop: Gaming In Museums: How To Level Up Your Museum’s Public Engagement

By Rae Ostman, Arizona State University, USA, Sarah Chu, Royal Ontario Museum, Canada

This interactive workshop will focus on using games and game design to create more compelling, immersive, and participatory museum experiences. We’ll explore the ways that gaming can advance our professional practice and the visitor experience, offering new ways to design and enhance both traditional and digital forms of engagement.

During the half-day workshop, the presenters will walk through the game development process and share some examples of projects that use games to promote engagement and learning for a variety of audiences, including families, school groups, and young adults.

Participants will then divide into small groups for a fun, collaborative game development activity, with the goal of creating a playable game by the end of the workshop. At the end of the session, participants will understand the potential for “game thinking” to inform museum experiences, be familiar with general resources and ready-to-use educational materials related to games in museums, and be inspired by ways they might apply game design and strategies at their own organizations.

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MW18 Workshop: Gaming In Museums: How To Level Up Your Museum’s Public Engagement

  1. 1. Gaming in museums: How to level up your museum’s public engagement Rae Ostman, Arizona State University, USA Sarah Chu, Royal Ontario Museum, Canada Museums and the Web Conference | April 18-21, 2018 | Vancouver, BC, Canada
  2. 2. Land acknowledgment We would like to acknowledge that we are situated upon the traditional, ancestral, and unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. We also recognize the enduring presence of Indigenous peoples on this land.
  3. 3. Introduction and agenda ▪ Introduction to games ▪ Games in museum contexts ▪ Start game prototypes ▪ Afternoon break ▪ Finish game prototypes ▪ Playtest
  4. 4. “ ▪ The game industry generates more than $30.4 billion in revenue. ▪ More than 150 million Americans play video games. ▪ The average gamer is 35 years old. ▪ Women age 18 and older represent 31% of video game-playing population, while boys under age 18 represent 18%. ▪ 67% of parents play video games with their child at least once weekly. 2017 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, Entertainment Software Association,
  5. 5. What is a game? “A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome.” Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, Salen and Zimmerman, 2004, p. 96
  6. 6. What is a game? A game is where “different outcomes are assigned different values, the player [can] influence [and] feels attached to the outcome, and the consequences [...] are optional and negotiable.” The game, the player, the world: Looking for a heart of gameness, Juul, 2003
  7. 7. Formal game elements Players Single/multiplayer, player vs. environment, player vs. player, etc. Rules/Mechanics Setup (things you do at the beginning), progression (what happens during the game; what players can/cannot do), & resolution (how the outcome is determined). Objectives/Goals Capture, solve, collect, build, chase/race, etc. Resources Time, lives, currency, health, actions, inventory, etc.
  8. 8. Formal elements of Pac-Man ▪ Players ▪ Objectives/Goals ▪ Rules/Mechanics ▪ Resources
  9. 9. Dramatic game elements Story Premise, objective, characters Mechanics Play Design Aesthetics, technology
  10. 10. Dramatic elements of Fortnite ▪ Story ▪ Aesthetics ▪ Technology
  11. 11. What is the game development process*? Concept Game ideas & design. Full Release Prototype Create & playtest paper/digital experiments. Production Development using coding & game-making tools (e.g., Unity), and creation of assets. Debug Fix bugs, change/add final features, & polish. Beta Test Playtest for bugs & to improve gameplay. * Game development is an iterative process of designing, building, and testing.
  12. 12. Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story License to Krill game &
  13. 13. Challenge of Mining game & responsible mining in Minecraft
  14. 14. ROM Game Jam event & programs
  15. 15. ROM Game Jam school visits
  16. 16. ROM Game Jam games & Hack the ROM program
  17. 17. NISE Network gallery games Strategies Social: Designs that foster positive social interactions Multigenerational: Challenges that are fun for all ages Familiar: Games with simple rules to quickly and easily engage participants Aligned: Mechanics of game should align with learning objectives
  18. 18. NISE Network Get in Order / Powers of Ten
  19. 19. NISE Network Ready, Set, Self-Assemble!
  20. 20. NISE Network Nano Around the World / You Decide!
  21. 21. NISE Network Your Mission to Space
  22. 22. NISE Network Rover Run
  23. 23. NISE Network Atoms to Atoms
  24. 24. ASU / NISE Network Frankenstein200
  25. 25. Game prototyping activity ▪ Paper prototype: ▪ Select one exhibition label & design a game for that exhibition ▪ Game must be playable by 4:00
  26. 26. Game prototyping tools ▪ Packets with exhibition labels ▪ Worksheets (game structure, tetrad, storyboard) ▪ Basic prototyping supplies ▪ Deck of Lenses (Also available for free on the App Store: es/id385531319?mt=8)
  27. 27. Game prototyping tools (optional!)
  28. 28. Game prototyping schedule ▪ 2:00 - 2:45 Start game prototypes ▪ 2:45 - 3:15 Afternoon break & small group feedback ▪ 3:15 - 4:00 Finish game prototypes ▪ 4:00 - 4:30 Playtest & large group share out
  29. 29. Thank you Rae Ostman Associate Research Professor Arizona State University @RaeOstman Sarah Chu Digital Learning Specialist Royal Ontario Museum @sairc
  30. 30. The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network was supported by the National Science Foundation under award numbers 0532536 and 0940143. ChemAttitudes is supported by the National Science Foundation under award number 1612482. Increasing Learning and Efficacy is supported by the National Science Foundation under award number 1516684. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. Space and Earth Informal STEM Education is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement number NNX16AC67A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ROM Game Jam photos © Stacey Lee Kerr. Hack the ROM initiative generously supported by: