My blog has talked about the various aspects of my work used to create immersive experiences that engage people. These aspects are using the senses to evoke memory and realism; storytelling to take people on a journey they can relate to; and interaction to make sure people are engaging with an experience in a way they will remember. Games are the best way to create interactions that grab people, provide tangible outcomes for them and also deepen the story of an experience. I am pleased to be able to say that my list of collaborators has now expanded to include experienced games designers.
The best examples of games as experiences that really get people fired up are escape rooms, or escape games as they are also known. In these games, a small team of people get locked in a room, usually themed, and are given the task of solving a succession of puzzles to allow them to escape their confinement. This is a fast rising industry so if you haven’t heard of these games it is likely you will hear more and more as time goes on.
For museums, games are usually confined to exhibits for children and/or science museums and many see this as a bit of a cliché. However, games do not have to be like this and games mechanics can be created to be relevant to any demographic. Remember, the aim is to get people to emotionally invest in the space or experience they are in rather than solely entertain them. Thinking about it from this angle allows you to resist the path of cliché.
Of course, any industry that involves creating an experience for people is relevant here so don’t feel constrained in your application of such ideas.
Museum practitioners may be familiar with ‘serious games’. For everybody else, serious games are simulations of real-world events that help solve problems be them educational or otherwise. War games that the military partake in are probably the most well-known application of these ideas. But games have been created for a wide variety of other educational purposes including social welfare and business training. So as you can guess, games don’t have to be childish or rooted in cliché but they can be used to teach people of any age about any subject.
Games are important in a wider sense that they allow people a bit of escapism from their daily routine. However, playing a game also immerses the player in a particular mindset or activity, allowing them to explore and learn about ideas that perhaps they wouldn’t have explored otherwise. This is what I believe to be the importance of games in creating experiences, whether that learning is a period in history or a brand lifestyle.
If, like me, the use of games in creating experiences interests you, feel free to email me or call me for a chat.