Immersive games for museums: What are the challenges?

Museums and video games hold strong similarities in the way they showcase narratives to engage their respective audiences with the purpose of sparking a social dialogue. They both convey rich and complex stories, often from a historical, cultural and/or creative perspective, and they strive towards kindling the intellectual curiosity of their audiences. However, despite their shared similarities, there is no framework for collaboration between these actors to promote the use of historical memories in video games as a tool to amplify educational outreach through games and further garner action on contemporary human rights issues.

Developing immersive games for museums to foster educational and empathetic experiences

MEMENTOES aims to promote a collaborative framework that can streamline museum-curated historical memories into captivating video game experiences that will engage, educate and inspire people globally. The project utilises concepts embedded in design philosophies for museum exhibition spaces, particularly those focusing on history and memory, with cutting-edge technology used in the game industry, such as AR, VR and AI.

MEMENTOES will build three video games that tackle the following historical moments:

  • ‘The Working Man’ – centers around the Soviet repressions in the period of 1920s-1950s, with a focus on the deportations of Central Eastern European citizens to soviet prison camps (gulags) during and in the aftermath of WWII.
  • ‘Marcinelle 1956’ – centers around a former colliery in the area of Charleroi, Belgium, with a focus on labour exploitation and workers immigration in the first half of the 20th
  • ‘Toys’ – centers around childhoods affected by armed conflicts, with depiction of stories from the war in in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Syria, Afghanistan, WWII and others.

The games are envisioned to ‘breathe life’ into distant people, places and objects from represented historical narratives through an authentic storytelling experience that further empowers players to learn, empathise and formulate self-discovered conclusions about contemporary social and human rights issues.

Ethical, legal and privacy impact assessment to ensure responsible and culturally sensitive innovation

Trilateral guides the process of conducting culturally sensitive and responsible research and innovation when developing the high-quality video games. It identifies the ethical, legal, privacy and societal benefits and risks stemming from such development and it assesses its potential impact on society. Trilateral collaborates with the partners and an independent Ethics Advisory Board to ensure the research and the project’s outputs are in line with ethical principles, values, human rights, and international regulations.

Dissemination efforts, exploitation strategy and Intellectual Protection Rights (IPR) management for impactful and protected outputs

Trilateral leads the dissemination efforts, develops and manages a continuous exploitation plan identifying the project’s exploitation activities and further ensures IPR protection for the developed software. As a result, Trilateral collaborates with the partners in dissemination activities and the exploration of different exploitation pathways and IPR protection means for the project results, with the purpose of building a strong market penetration strategy and long-term sustainability of the results.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101061496.

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