Interactive Games Make Museums A Place To Play
January 12, 2009
Jane McGonigal, who works for the Institute For The Future in Palo Alto, Calif., has been called the “guru of alternate reality games,” or ARGs. Millions of people play ARGs on their computers for several hours each week
She’s come up with four elements she believes we all need to be happy:
- satisfying work,
- the experience of being good at something,
- time spent with people we like, and
- the chance to be a part of something bigger.
Games, she says, do all of these things.
“Games work better than most of reality because they give us clear instructions. We know exactly what we’re supposed to do,” McGonigal says. “They give us better feedback; you can’t be good at something unless you’re getting feedback … Gamers don’t mind criticism.”
She says the shared experience of sharing a fictional narrative creates a sense of community among players — tapping into the need to be a part of something bigger.
Beth Merritt, head of the Center for the Future of Museums
“Biologically, games are how we’re hard-wired to learn — that’s its evolutionary role,” Merritt says. “Why shouldn’t adults play games? It’s still the most effective way to learn and push our buttons to get information into our heads.”
World Without Oil (official website is down)
Ghosts of a Chance (was available until 2010. See also: Pheon)
a new game launched in 2010. Browsers block it because of an invalid security certificate
live until 2008