Ghosts of a Chance Alternate Reality Game (ARG), Smithsonian American Art Museum, unpublished report, 2008, available online, http://ghostsofachance.com/GhostsofaChance_Report2.pdf
- G. Bath
In the digital age, museums and historical sites must explore how to leverage technologies to engage guests. Gaming-whether technology-based or not--is an approach that some museums have been using as a means for teaching visitors. Bringing the two together to create an online-onsite-online game is an effective approach for educating, immersing, and engaging guests, especially “digital natives” for whom technology is an integral part of daily life. In June 2013, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation launched its third alternate-realitygame-like experience of this type called “RevQuest: The Black Chambers.” This game, like its two predecessors, employs technology and gaming techniques to teach players, called questors, about the American Revolution and colonial society. What is perhaps unique is that the game narrative is based upon actual historical events and real people and is a single story from the pre-visit website through to the onsite play through to the post-visit web component. The game is much more than a digital scavenger hunt in that questors must interact and learn information from virtual characters in the online portions of the game and real people during the onsite visit. This paper will describe the model that we have developed and refined along with our goals for how the experience fits into the overall museum visit.