Visiting museums is an important part of cultural enrichment. Without actually seeing the exhibits, it is very easy not to take in, as it were, all of the important historical facts and relics. Sadly, though, the youth of the world is not all that interested in visiting these amazing edifices to human achievement, plight, and progress. Can online games be used as a tool for promoting museums and history in general?
One of the most common criticisms of museums and, indeed, most historic sites and items, is that they are not engaging enough. We find ourselves in an era where it is very difficult to capture a person’s attention. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of teenagers and young people in general. Textbooks and relics are just that – things. The youth of today needs another approach to make the items in museums, as well as the buildings themselves, more engaging. Enter video games.
Video games are designed to capture a person’s attention. Many a student learned more about history through games such as Assassin’s Creed and Age of Empires. The weapons, garments, and the socio-political situation of countries in the past is much more alive than it is when simply read.
Why Are Games Hard to Put Down?
It is a matter of lights and sound mostly, but even without the sparkle that today’s games provide with graphics that hold the people’s focus hostage, there is the engaging storyline and gameplay that makes the players feel like they are truly there. A player in a game can walk the streets of ancient Rome, for example, and interact with the virtual populous.
Today’s games take it up a notch, using strategies not unlike those implemented by online gambling sites. The promise of a reward for good behavior and additional content are powerful incentives that make the players stay in the game even if they would rather be doing something else entirely.
Where Do Museums Fit Into This?
If we were to find a way to design (online) games with information about museums and provide players with incentives to learn more about the history of the human race, we are likely to see some improvements in terms of interest in the events that have transpired. Furthermore, more people would be eager to visit museums and galleries, trying to see with their own eyes the works of great masters and the unsung heroes of craftsmanship.
The Palace Museum
China is already having the path for some other museums in its effort to draw in a larger audience. They already have a TV show, for example. However, today we are discussing using games as a tool to promote museums. The museum is working with a young team of game designers to bring the wonders of the Forbidden City closer to newer generations. The project was financed through crowdfunding, and we already have the opportunity to enjoy some of the game-book in its interactive splendor.