enhance and disseminate
Culturgame.it is a research project funded by Italy’s Ministry of Education, University, and Research. It delves into the potential of video games in transforming the relationship between museums and their audiences, both within the museum walls and beyond. The project’s objective is to develop game-based solutions that revolve around the enrichment of historical and archaeological heritage, the promotion of scientific knowledge, and fostering awareness of aquatic ecosystems.
The practical outcome of this endeavour will be the creation of five game-based solutions for three renowned Italian museums: the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station in Naples, and the Museum of the University of Sassari. These solutions will contribute to the widespread promotion of three separate areas of knowledge. Each topic (archaeology, science, and ecosystems) will have a dedicated demonstrator site, offering an on-site version of the game. Additionally, a joint platform will grant access to the off-site version of each solution, enabling players to download the games onto their devices or play them online.
Culturgame.it is kicking things off with the alpha release of each game and a data collection and analysis campaign. This vital step allows for necessary adjustments to be made for the second and final beta versions of the video games. The results of this approach can help determine a video game’s impact on different target audiences and its effectiveness in terms of engagement and enjoyment. This, in turn, can facilitate the development of even more effective game experiences to enhance cultural heritage and promote scientific understanding.
Both single-player and multiplayer games are being developed, as well as games that accommodate both modes. This approach seeks to test the response of visitor groups (schools and families), as well as individual visitors engaging with unfamiliar players.
Some of the games in development feature a digital interface, playable on PCs, mobile phones, and virtual reality (VR) devices. Others embrace a hybrid approach, merging the physical and digital realms (known as phygital experiences). These games use traditional tools like card decks or wooden pieces, which are “augmented” with technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and image recognition. Through this combination, intangible elements such as underwater sounds can be blended with the gaming experience, or invisible phenomena such as the adaptive mechanisms of phytoplankton can be made visible.