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ERIC Number: EJ961144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1059-8650
The Meaning Makes It Fun: Game-Based Learning for Museums
Schaller, David T.
Journal of Museum Education, v36 n3 p261-268 Fall 2011
Museum games can be a powerful meaning-making experience for players, but only if we understand that what makes games fun is also what makes them meaningful. Renowned game designer Sid Meier ("Civilization", "Railroad Tycoon", "Pirates") famously defined a good game as "a series of interesting choices." What makes choices interesting? The same things that make them meaningful: consequences, context, and a savvy appeal to human psychology. When designed well, these choices can make even mundane content meaningful. So imagine the possibilities when we use the stuff of museums--art, science, history, and technology--as our content and context. Whether creating a game or a simpler activity, we can draw on principles of game design to weave a series of interesting choices that honors our real-world content while engaging visitors in thoughtful ways. This article considers that most common type of "game"--the quiz--before analyzing the board game "Monopoly" for attributes of interesting choices, and finally discusses how those attributes are built into several games for cultural institutions. (Contains 9 notes.)
Left Coast Press, Inc. 1630 North Main Street #400, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. Tel: 925-935-3380; Fax: 925-935-3380; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Maryland; Minnesota