A digital museum space for kids

August 13th, 2010 § 6

The National Museum’s kSpace is almost 10 years old, and we have a new director who’s keen to take the Museum into the future. It’s surely only a matter of time before we are invited to reimagine this techno space for kids. THATCampers, I would love for us to devise a killer plan for a new kSpace.

I have emanated a few hazy ideas to that end…

Rather than proposing a space dedicated to any single activity, it makes good sense to design a platform that could host an evolving range of activities.

How about an alternate reality game that involves venturing out to the otherwise strange and somewhat isolated Garden of Australian Dreams, which is just outside the door to this space, and then draws people back in for the resolution?

Or a networked, sensate grid that could transform a group of, say, 121 people into a cellular automaton?

Some parameters we might like to bear in mind – to raise some issues, not to reduce the field of possibility:

  • works for groups of between 15 and 120 people
  • engages school-aged kids at every level
  • relates to Australian culture / history / environment
  • involves a challenge of some kind – not entirely shallow
  • is non-prescriptive – so the experience is engaging and variable for repeat visitors
  • can be enjoyed in as little as 12 minutes

Educators, designers of all kinds (interaction, experience, game, built environment, digital), historians, and anyone else – are you interested? Please use the comment box to express!

Tagged: , , , , , ,

§ 6 Responses to “A digital museum space for kids”

  • michaelhoney says:

    Yes, interesting.

    Setting up an infrastructure that allows users to be location-tracked (RFID? WIFI tracking using iPod Touch?) would allow a bunch of activities involving discovery and teamwork. Users could collect tokens by performing tasks/going to locations/taking photographs/scanning barcodes. Kiosks at different locations could provide info/verify tokens. Groups could split into teams to solve a problem together.

    I think the right way to approach this is to pick a topic and the learnings associated with it, then devise a game/activity that delivers those learnings. Then think about the infrastructure and how it can be made generally useful for other topics.

    Note that the field of play could be as small as the GAD, or as big as the Internet…

  • forsyth says:

    I am also interested in similar idea as would like a local studies based game which can be expanded as different geographic areas add their information in. It could start as simply as with the local studies/museum based information for one area, and be web based or based on mobile devices (or both). But as different organisations etc add key information the game can expand.

    Would like a game adults interested in as well as children, and yes do know I need to put some work in on this.

  • Lise says:

    I’ve just been looking at the SCVNGR app, http://www.scvngr.com/, which seems to be heading in this direction. It seems to be a more educational, and game based version of foursquare (which seemed to me to lack much point).

  • Cath says:

    Scvngr, hmm.. thanks. (So tempted to say, why don’t they hunt down their missing vowels???)

    Since yesterday I am iPhone-equipped :-) so I’ve got the app and had a look but… there’s nowt going on round here – maybe it is yet to infiltrate the southern hemisphere? so it’s hard to appreciate its potential.

    This video of a TEDx talk by ‘Scvngr ninja’ is worth a look, about building a game layer in the world, game dynamics, influence and status, and how to use human motivations for good.

  • Cath says:

    Ellen, agree that intergenerational appeal is critical. Look forward to discussion even if the sesh doesn’t fly.

  • [...] learning about history Posted on 18 September 2010 by Cath At THATCamp Canberra, I hosted a session on designing a dedicated digitally-enhanced physical space for collaborative, intergenerational, [...]

What's this?

You are currently reading A digital museum space for kids at THATCamp Canberra.