The digital transformation is a ubiquitous topic. Since industrialization, no new technology has influenced the economy, society and leisure so intensively.
Even cultural institutions cannot escape this change. Digital educational offerings in the form of apps or games are popular, but expensive and time-consuming to develop. Museums are considering how they can make collections accessible to future generations in a contemporary and attractive way. "The Spielkultur project uses digital technology to make museum visits more interactive and exciting. It provides Swiss museums with individual solutions for experiencing culture in a playful way," says Pablo Villars, Project Manager Migros Pioneer Fund.
As part of the pilot project "games@museums," Spielkultur has developed three configurable games with the support of the Migros Pioneer Fund - a flirt chat app, a mystery audio book, and a tablet treasure hunt. The games were developed by game design students in cooperation with museums and successfully tested in a two-year test phase.
Agency brings games to the museums
After this test phase, curator Laura Schuppli and game designer Sebastian Tobler founded the agency Spielkultur at the beginning of 2021 to finalize the prototypes. The interdisciplinary duo has now developed the game software in such a way that curators and cultural educators can develop the content of the games themselves or with different target groups. This should make the games versatile: as a fixed component of special or permanent exhibitions, as part of a participation project with school classes or other focus groups, or as a supplementary mediation format for special occasions such as children's birthday parties or family Sundays.
Into the future with gamification
"With the games, we want to get more people excited about art and culture and at the same time help museums continue to be perceived as vibrant, interactive houses," says Laura Schuppli. For the agency, the future of museum visits lies in combining digital formats with the on-site experience.
The museum games will be launched on November 4, 2021 as part of the Digital Days at the City Museum Aarau will take place. Curators, cultural mediators and the general public will be able to see the games and learn how they can be used in their own environment.