I'm never going to have time to tidy these up, so here they are as they were scribbled on a post-it note closer to the Museums and the Web 2011 conference:
- Stand on the shoulders of giants – so much great work is better because it's based on the experience and work of others. There's a sea change in attitudes about making the most of existing work, and maybe it's just cos I was hanging out with cool people, but the 'not invented here' syndrome seems to be dead.
- The cool kids share failures and mistakes – people's wonderful honesty about things that went wrong is amazing and can be so powerful
- Twitter went from back channel to summarising, sending quotable quotes flying out from the conference, and to socialising – finding the hang outs was so much easier because there were lots of open invitations to explore places.
- Processes and people over tech – tech is now generally the easy part, and the less interesting part.
- Lots of anecdotal evidence about how much audiences love 'behind the scenes' content.
- I kept noticing things about the power of storytelling but that could just be because I'm really interested in it.
- I've only just figured this one out, but a lot of the conference was about engagement, whether through games, interactions with mobile devices, participatory projects, whatever. Access is dead, long live engagement.
Hopefully I'll grab some time to reflect more on specific sessions and talks, but an imperfect post is more use than a polished draft, so here you go!
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.