Chapter 'Crowdsourcing games: playing with museums'

The book 'Museums At Play: Games, Interaction and Learning' is edited by freelance strategist Katy Beale and published by MuseumsEtc.  My chapter, 'Crowdsourcing games: playing with museums' discusses the power of crowdsourcing games and the participation economy, possible new relationships with audiences and new types of engagement with objects, and the potential for an ecosystem of museum games based around collections.

Paper: Playing with Difficult Objects – Game Designs to Improve Museum Collections

My paper for Museums and the Web 2011, Playing with Difficult Objects – Game Designs to Improve Museum Collections, is online and is also available in the printed proceedings.

Abstract: Crowdsourcing the creation, correction or enhancement of data about objects through games is an attractive proposition for museums looking to maximize use of their collections online without committing intensive curatorial resources to enhancing catalogue records. This paper investigates the optimum game designs to encourage participation and the generation of useful data through a case study of the project Museum Metadata Games that successfully designed games that created improved metadata for 'difficult' objects from two science and history museum collections.

Keywords: collections, games, crowdsourcing, objects, metadata, tagging

'Cosmic Collections' in the tech press

The 'Cosmic Collections' crowdsourced web mashup competition I ran was picked up by two very cool web developer sites, the Yahoo Developer Network and the Programmable Web.

Yahoo Developer Network: A new API and hack competition – this time not from a tech company but by a museum!

Programmable Web: Science Museum Opens API and Challenges Developers to Mashup the Cosmos

Two favourite quotes: a "crusade to bring museums out into the open as places of innovation rather than preservation" (Yahoo) and, "with the rollout of a new API to provide access to information about some of its exhibits, the museum itself has become an example of technological innovation" (Programmable Web).