Museums provide us with a better understanding of a new place. For many, they are one of the most popular tourist attractions, while for others, they are an excellent opportunity for helping us understand the world better.
One of the most significant roles of a museum is to teach us about different time periods, areas of study or even ideas. Apart from attracting people who visit them, museums help us learn empathy and critical thinking.
The Problem and the Solution
While museums are still relevant and popular, despite being in the digital age, one of the major issues that museums are facing today is looking for new ways to maintain their popularity. For example, with the Internet becoming widespread, more and more people continuously look for information online rather than visiting a museum because it’s more efficient and convenient. What’s more, many people aren’t even aware that there are museums around them.
However, instead of swimming against the current, museums found a way to address the problem by using it in their favor, and what better way to do that than through online games and gamification. An excellent example of this can be seen through the museums’ usage of Minecraft.
The World of Minecraft
The best way to explain what’s Minecraft would be to refer to it as virtual Lego. It allows a player to use digital blocks of different textures and colors to create virtually anything. In the hands of someone experienced and creative, the game’s possibilities are limited only by the players’ imagination.
In addition, it is also one of the most popular video games around, which gave numerous museums a fantastic opportunity to promote their establishments while simultaneously do what museums are meant to do — engage and educate the community.
How Has Minecraft Helped Museums?
Perhaps one of the most notable accomplishments of the partnership between museums and Minecraft occurred back in 2016 when the Museum of London hired a team of expert Minecraft builders to help them replicate the great fire of London for the 350th anniversary of the fire. The replica provided the viewers of the exhibit with the three-dimensional view of London right before the fire, as well as a different world that features the city in its reconstruction phase.
Another example is when the de Young Museum in San Francisco decided to make an exhibit dedicated to the architectural wonders of Mesoamerica. The project lasted from September 2017 until February 2018, and it involved creating a 1:1 replica of Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire. Furthermore, the map was available for free download so that anyone could take a stroll through this architectural marvel and immerse in its full grandeur.
The Tate Gallery was one of the pioneers that started the Minecraft trend back in 2014. Nowadays, apart from the few projects that we’ve mentioned, there are numerous other projects that involve museums using Minecraft and other online video games for gamification, and we’re anxiously waiting for the next big project.