Will you help me to find the fishmongers hall?

Posted on October 26, 2007

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brighton.jpgThe production of digital media exhibitions to engage children in fishing heritage is being discussed by Richard Griffiths. The opportunity was a high traffic but low engagement small museum on the Brighton beachfront.

They used an interactive storytelling system (BBC’s InStep), used initially in a temporary Egyptology exhibit. Given a “you are a reporter” scenario the young visitor has to go around the museum to find material to build the story. The information seeking quest is linear but monitors time away from the system to ensure actual information seeking in the museum (managed by RFID tag in “press pass”).

They shortened the introduction to video clips shorter than one minute. A old sea salt (actually Richard!) is helping a young “time-traveller” girl to get back to her time. he refers to they (pointing to camera) and she asks “will you help me to find the fishmongers hall?” or “What year did first Oddfellows lodge open in Brighton?”.

In a nice conspiratorial touch an adult actor asks the girl who she is talking to, “nobody” she says. At the end a letter is sent to the visitor with all the information collected.

The system is a simple looping structure, implemented in PHP, produced by capstone interactive media students. Some specific location imposed challenges.

Paradigm adds narrative to museum without adding any physical interpretation structures to the museum. It has the possibility of multiple narratives running independently.

Q: Primary driver? Increased time and finding out more. Question is what are they supposed to learn – do interactions lead to these?

Q: Are you wedded to storyline? No, plan is to give students technology and paradigm, hope for greater creativity.

I talked with Richard about the logical structure of the system, it being similar to our Leonardo (which has more branching) and we talked about simulating conversational structures (he points to Jellyfish and the “Jack” rules) and our common experiences with capstone students.

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Posted in: ICHIM07, museum