Visitors with their heads down staring at their mobile devices. This is the image that springs to mind when “apps and museums” are mentioned in the same breath, like an automatic response to a Rorschach test. However, the fact is that this image contradicts the latest trends. The symbiosis between culture and entertainment – or “culture-tainment” – is giving way to “heads-up” mobile games.
That’s how Ben Templeton (of Thought Den) has named the new mobile experience of the National Museum of Scotland, “Capture the Museum”. This mobile app is inspired by Risk-type games, a return to tradition and “face to face” interaction, using a technology often labeled as individualistic. Players must opt for one of two sides competing to conquer different areas in the museum grounds. Their weapon? The QR code reader.
This “online de-virtualization” takes place a step after in “Barcelona Trip Adventure”. This app guides us through the Barcelona touristic areas, by means of a gymkhana with different questions and challenges. For each correct answer, you earn points that can be redeemed in certain establishments, such as restaurants, shops and museums. This way of generating income establishes a link to the offline world, similar to marketing formulas for apps that are purely recreational.
There is no doubt that these devices are also an opportunity for targeting your audience. For example, “Taking the kids NYC” is a guide designed for families who visit New York with children. It includes quizzes for families who are visiting or have visited the city.
Participation, socialization, dissemination… entertainment culture draws on experience and content to varying degrees. If you are thinking about creating a cultural or tourist app, you should first determine the category of mobile shop in which you would you like it to appear: entertainment, travel, education…?
* In the picture, a player participating in “Capture the Museum” at the National Museum of Scotland. Thought Den Photography.