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  • Exploring the Roles of Technology and Social Play in Art Museums

Walker, Kevin and Fróes, Isabel, 2011, Book Section, Exploring the Roles of Technology and Social Play in Art Museums In: Museums at Play: Games, Interaction and Learning. Museums Etc. ISBN 9781907697135

Abstract or Description:

This co-written chapter was included in an edited book featuring invited authors from different countries and different areas of museum research and practice. The chapter uses a theory of play by Johan Huizinga (1938) to frame case studies of play-based interactive experiences in museums in various countries. The aim was to use theory to ground museum practice, in order to evaluate existing practical implementations as well as to inform the design of new ones.

The book was nominated as one of the 10 best museum education books of 2011 by Museum Education Monitor, and the chapter led to a subsequent technology residency the author undertook in the Spike Island gallery, Bristol in 2012, funded by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Arts Council England. It also informed his subsequent postgraduate teaching, an example of which is a recent MA project, which deconstructs play from a computational perspective. Collaborations have continued with the co-author, which have resulted in a number of invited lectures.

In this chapter the authors explore play as a structure for supporting visitor learning, drawing from international research in museums and interaction design. Four aspects of play first proposed by Huizinga are explored – the free-choice aspect of play, play as distinct from real life, play as an ordering structure, and the role of play in bridging communities. The chapter argues that play provides museums with ready-made structures and concepts, which can help planning for visitor learning. The research was equally divided between the co-authors, who developed the conceptual and theoretical aspects of the article by drawing on their own research alongside key examples of museum design and digital media.

Official URL: http://museumsetc.com/products/museums-at-play
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Communication
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2013 16:58
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 22:25
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1427

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