Mystery at the Museum – A Collaborative Game for Museum Education

January 1st, 2005 | RESEARCH

Through an iterative design process involving museum educators, learning scientists and technologists, and drawing upon our previous experiences in handheld game design and a growing body of knowledge on learning through gaming, we designed an interactive mystery game called Mystery at the Museum (the High Tech Whodunnit), which was designed for synchronous play of groups of parents and children over a two to three hour period. The primary design goals were to engage visitors more deeply in the museum, engage visitors more broadly across museum exhibits, and encourage collaboration between visitors. The feedback from the participants suggested that the combination of depth and breadth was engaging and effective in encouraging them to think about the museum's exhibits. The roles that were an integral part of the game turned out to be extremely effective in engaging pairs of participants with one another. Feedback from parents was quite positive in terms of how they felt it engaged them and their children. These results suggest that further explorations of technology-based museum experiences of this type are wholly appropriate.


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Team Members

Eric Klopfer, Author, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Judy Perry, Author, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kurt Squire, Author, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Ming-Fong Jan, Author, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Constance Steinkuehler, Author, University of Wisconsin, Madison


Publication: Proceedings of the conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL ‘05)
Page(s): 316

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Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers
Discipline: Education and learning science | Life science | Nature of science | Technology
Resource Type: Conference Proceedings | Reference Materials
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Games | Simulations | Interactives | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits