One outcome from MW2011 was the creation of ‘Lift your (museum) game‘, a site for people who make museum games to share their hard-earned wisdom – project evaluation, research, references, methods, rants, lessons learnt from real projects – about making museum games. Inspired by a question from Martha Henson about whether any sites already existed to gather resources like those discussed during the panel discussion after the Games session at Museums and the Web 2011 (with Dave Schaller, Elizabeth Goins and Coline Aunis), I created the wiki during the closing plenary and watched in awe as Kate Haley Goldman immediately started populating it with links.
Museum games have to compete in a highly competitive market, especially for casual and social games, and I suspect ‘worthy’ will only take us so far these days. I’m hoping the dialogue around this site will help people avoid the pitfalls of ‘death by museum committee’ when designing games and push for excellent gameplay in museum games. There are some great museum game projects and research going on, and pooling resources could help multiply the benefits of that work and provide a resource for people just starting out. Also, if you’re a games agency or designer, this could be a great place to pass on any tips or links (or warnings) you’d like potential museum clients to know about. I’ve got a few papers on crowdsourcing games for museums coming up, so I’ll be adding links and resources as I go – it’s easy to add your resources or questions, just sign up at http://museumgames.pbworks.com.
One of the key themes of MW2011 for me was ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ – there’s so much good work going on in the museum digital sector, and so many amazing people are willing to share what they’ve learnt along the way, and hopefully this museum games wiki is a contribution to helping us all see further and do better.