Games, games, games…

by editor Phillippa Pitts

Games have been on my mind a lot this week. I know a lot of people who spend their incredible brainpower building games for museums, like Kellian Adams Pletcher with Murder at the Met, or Susan Edward with the Getty’s Switch (which I admire for its incredible simplicity!). I’ve even built a few games myself with SCVNGR. Nevertheless, I tend to approach gamification from a skeptical starting point.

This week, two new games crossed my desk that couldn’t be more different from each other: History Hero and Papers, Please.

History Heros, Courtesy of

History Heros, Courtesy of

“Papers Please,” courtesy of Slate

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Food for Thought: Should Museums Accession lolcats?

Go and read Suse Cairns‘s fascinating exploration of native digital objects and art, and how museums can think about them and deal with them. Bonus interview with Tom Woolley, New Media Curator at the UK National Media Museum. (He’s responsible for a Life Online gallery that has a constant video of memes on it. If that’s not a cool job, I don’t know what is.)

Drinking About Museums @ the Museum of Science

Do you like learning about museums? Do you like talking about tech prototypes and new ways to interpret exhibits? Do you like the Boston Museum of Science? Do you like hanging out with clever museum people?

Then come to the monthly Drinking About Museums event tomorrow, May 10, at the Museum of Science.

More details here.

PS – If you don’t like the Museum of Science, then we’re no longer friends.

Designing an Exhibit: The First Ladies

The Smithsonian has more resources than most of us can dream of, but what really impresses me is the way in which they put their resources to work. Their blogs are fantastic. They mix in stories from interns, volunteers, donors, curators, registrars, and many other staff members to present the whole story of an institution devoted to making the world a better, more-educated place.

Case in point: this post about the evolution of design in the First Ladies exhibit, one of the most popular at the National Museum of American History. Look at those old-style cases!

Davis Art Museum @ Wellesley College: New Gallery App

Wellesley alum Hannah Heller, who’s now an MA candidate in Museum Education at Tufts, sent us this great video about the development of the new app for the Wellesley College art museum. It looks like an interestingly interactive model, prompting visitors to really engage with objects on a thoughtful, emotional level.