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Museums, Games & Play Summit

Schedule

Choose Day

23 October 2023

All times are (BST) which is the time in London

14:00 (BST)

Playing the museum at Young V&A

How are museums injecting play into their galleries? Young V&A believes play is central to how children and adults learn and engage. The team has embedded opportunities to ‘play’ with the collection throughout the new museum. They will share how they did this and showcase some of the playful experiences and interactive games in the galleries. They will also talk about some of the design challenges and practical considerations to think about when bringing play to your museum.

14:30 (BST)

Play at the Museum with a Children's Biennal

The Gallery Children’s Biennale is a special event at the National Gallery Singapore for kids and families, which began in 2019. The most recent one took place in May 2023, right after COVID-19 rules were lifted. How did they reintroduce hands-on activities in the museum after the pandemic? What role do online games play now? How are they combining hands-on learning with digital fun? Join Nathaniel and Nurdiana as they share their experience.

15:00 (BST)

Play Pockets

The National Museum of Qatar thinks learning should be fun. So, they’ve added games and play everywhere! They want kids and families to enjoy their visit. So, they’ve made play areas inside and outside the museum. They have three playgrounds outside and six special areas inside just for families. In this talk, we’ll discuss what we learned from adding these play areas. How can we tell the museum’s main stories in a fun way? Let’s explore this together. Come join us to see how play can change how people think about a museum, all while keeping local values in mind.

15:30 (BST)

Activating Play at the National Maritime Museum

Using the development of a new outdoor play space and play themed public programme as a catalyst for change, the National Maritime Museum have been investigating how to support play for all ages and abilities beyond designated children’s galleries. Delegates will explore what play is, what it means at NMM and the challenges and successes we have worked through to define this. Delegates will hear about experimental, low tech, rapid response approaches to play including gallery interventions, play training, consultation and a play artist in residence. Working from practice up into policy and how we have brought other teams along the journey in the museum to make it happen.

16:00 (BST)

Play! Family Programming through Co-produced Research

Collections & Public Engagement Officer Megan Christo and Community Connector Jenny Wang will share their experience co-producing and delivering playful half term events at the Museum that bridge the gap between on-display objects and family visitors. Megan and Jenny collaborated with local Chinese people to decolonise the family programming through object research and playful activities. Each family investigated the histories and stories of Chinese Musical instruments cared for at the museum, sharing their new knowledge with visitors alongside live music from the Silk and Bamboo Orchestra and traditional folk puppetry performed by Jose Navarro.

16:30 (BST)

Sponsored Session : Art Fund

17:00 (BST)

Lunch

17:30 (BST)

Play Like an Artist

What happens when an art museum reevaluates its role in a community, not only as a place that displays human creativity, but as a place that is catalyzing visitor imagination and critical thinking through play? The Columbus Museum of Art did just that by developing a participatory gallery that invited visitors to think and play like artists. The research conducted, measured six types of play and how visitors engaged with materials, ideas, and each other. Today, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is spring boarding from that research to develop intentional play outcomes for unfacilitated participatory experiences throughout the museum.

18:00 (BST)

Designing a Space for Play in an Art Museum

How do you design a space for play? Learn how a unique partnership with the LEGO Foundation led to the design and construction of a space for play during the groundbreaking renovation of the Buffalo AKG Art Musuem. Hear about our successes, mistakes, and ongoing learning lessons as we opened a dedicated space for play in the heart of the museum.

18:30 (BST)

Setting off in a box rocket

How do you do literacy with kids who can’t read? Share books with book-refusers? Get a class of wriggly primary school children completely enraptured for an entire hour, whilst making their teachers happy? Get kids and parents to play together? Sharing the secrets of our hands-on exhibition design at Discover Children’s Story Centre as it has evolved from flat panel displays to immersive, inclusive play spaces with 75,000 visitors a year, on a tight budget, in the heart of one of the most diverse, deprived and exciting boroughs in London.

19:00 (BST)

Museum as Playground: Activity-Based Teaching in the Art Museum

When we view art experience as a contemplative pursuit, the implication is that it is a disembodied experience. However, mind and body are inextricably linked when looking at art. The body, as an active partner, responds to the physical and environmental qualities of a work of art in a museum space. A person’s embodiment shapes their experiences in galleries and informs their perceptions of art objects. In turn, works of art offer opportunities for action, whether they call on their original functions or contemporary applications. To quote from our recent publication, Activity-Based Teaching in the Art Museum: Movement, Embodiment, Emotion, “The play of art occurs when we are touched by a proposition, a. .n address, an experience that so captures us that we surrender readily to our impulse to play along” (Kai-Kee, Latina, Sadoyan 2020, 52). When we engage in play with a work of art, we inquire, “What is it asking me to do with it?”

19:30 (BST)

From Museum to Magic Circle

Play, real play, produces pockets of freedom in larger systems. Playful moments within the rigor a museum galleries can be like “temporary autonomous zones,” the term coined by Hakim Bey (aka Peter Lamborn Wilson) to mean “fleeting pockets of anarchy that occur in daily life.” In this session, the speaker shares stories of moments when museum temporarily become something different, from a Lucha Libre wrestling match in the atrium of a Natural History Museum to a Penguin Disco at the entrance to an aquarium habitat, complete with a “fishco ball.” How might this type of temporary remapping via playfulness change the kinds of learning that happens in museum— especially when the goal of such playfulness is not learning at all?

24 October 2023

All times are (BST) which is the time in London

14:00 (BST)

Gaming Community Engagement in Museums

Discover the untapped potential of harnessing the gaming community’s expertise in modern museums. Together, we will shed light on the diverse ways consulting with the gaming community can revolutionize curatorial, archival, and conservation practices. From world-building to data management, gamers bring fresh perspectives and technical skills, which can be utilised in the creation of immersive exhibits and the preservation of digital games and accompanying virtual objects. Through community consultation, we can embrace this innovative approach, forge connections with gamers, and reimagine the museum experience for future audiences.

14:30 (BST)

Designing an Escape Game in a Building Where Everything is Worth a Fortune

The do’s and don’ts of designing an escape game in a building where everything is worth a fortune. From crafting a story based on the collection, to secretly educating young players about art history: we share our lessons learned on the influence of timing, wording, things to watch out for (looking at you, piano that got taken away for restoration while we made a puzzle around your broken keys!), the use of actors and how to cater to both kids, adolescents and adults. Oh, and did we tell you we got 10.000 extra visitors to the museum in 3 months?

15:00 (BST)

Double your online engagement through funseekers

As we consider the different audience segments that engage with museums on-site and online, we’ve found that the Funseeker is a powerful group in terms of engagement. We’re learning to tap into that fun-seeking motivation through online games.

15:30 (BST)

The Multiverse of Museums

Can you create an art gallery in an alternate virtual reality that visitors will want to explore in real time, in real space? Join the journey of Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Digital T students from Walsall College to create a Roblox escape game in a dystopian version of reality. Looking for the place where creativity, technology, in person experience and digital discovery collide, the Escape the Gallery project was a jump into the deep end of hybrid gaming experiences with a steep learning curve and some fun along the way.

16:00 (BST)

Why museums need a Play Revolution

The National Railway Museum in York opened a new Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery this summer. Wonderlab is an interactive gallery where visitors can explore how the railways work and get hands-on with exhibits by thinking like engineers solving problems make things work and make things work better. One of the exhibits we commissioned was by artist Pippa Hale who makes playable installations. We’ll talk about her artwork ‘Play Revolution’ and why we commissioned it, how it encourages visitors of all ages to reconnect with their playful selves and why this is important in a world where so much of our daily lives are mediated by screens.

16:30 (BST)

From Distraction to Attraction: Using Tech to Enable an Engaged Visitor Experience

Let’s be honest: it’s a virtual conference, you’re going to be on your phone. And the reality is, it’s the same for visits to your museum – every guest that walks through your doors has a phone in their pocket, a whole other world of possible distractions!

Rather than trying to fight this behavior, can you lean into it and use technology to create even more engaging visitor experiences?

17:00 (BST)

Break

17:30 (BST)

Exploring Accessibility and Gaming in an Immersive Tractor Interactive

This presentation will the share key findings from the creation of “Farming Adventure”: an accessible and digitally immersive tractor game that encourages play and learning at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Through collaboration with the accessible community, rapid prototyping, and user and accessibility testing, feedback was incorporated in multiple stages throughout the process, leading to a more inclusive and engaging experience for its many visitors.

18:00 (BST)

Building Community through Play: Low-Tech Strategies

What do you think of when you hear the words “history museum”? At the Fairfield Museum and History Center in Fairfield, CT, we bring people together. Through our dynamic slate of exhibitions and programs, the Museum balances the serious and the fun, aims to teach young people about the value of history, and builds a sense of community. While certain exhibition spaces and interactives are designed for children, the Museum builds in opportunities for intergenerational and lifelong learning. Discover the low-tech interpretation and audience engagement strategies that the Fairfield Museum uses to make history personal, engaging, and meaningful.

18:30 (BST)

Unraveling Meaning Making Through Playful Learning

Games and interactives engage children, which can be made even more powerful by facilitating meaning-making – a popular yet relatively abstract theory. Meaning-making is often difficult to measure and therefore implement consciously due to its personal nature. In this session, a case study will be discussed which reveals how play-based learning fosters active engagement, curiosity, and a sense of ownership over the learning process. Learn how museums can optimise their interactives by encouraging meaning making to create more personal connections and and impactful experiences, in a playful manner!

19:00 (BST)

Testing Testing 1-2-3: How to Playtest Your Game

Are you playtesting your games? Be honest. User testing doesn’t need to be elaborate, academic or extensive. A few informal playtests can mean the difference between a game that’s a successful light lift and a game that’s broken, frustrating and hard to use. In this talk, three experienced game designers and museum professionals will discuss how they test games in their spaces, and give tips and tricks to make playtesting a regular, easy and even fun part of your game design process!

19:30 (BST)

Learning with videogames and a very naughty goose!

ACMI‘s Game Lessons Library provides teachers with free lesson plans to bring the classroom syllabus alive and to get students engaged and excited. We showcase the indie-comedy hit game Untitled Goose Game and use it as a springboard for integrating media and literacy with reluctant readers to show you how easy game-based learning can be.