Part 3: A focus: Gamification in the Museum Field

As mentioned above, by playing it is possible to learn, experience different emotions and feel

involved in some way. These aspects are rich in meaning if the magnitude of the phenomenon is taken into consideration; many people have grown up or are growing up using videogames, and thanks to them they are living adventures that are closed to non-gamers. Modern digital technologies propose to take the museum out of its walls and to tell and present it to new audiences, but also to suggest completely new experiences to visitors who visit it daily through different forms of narration. In fact, it is no coincidence that a videogame that has a cultural content offers the possibility of living a type of experience that cannot be experienced in other ways.

The video games play a double role in the museum sector: firstly, when the museum engages in the production of a video game, it does not compete with other cultural institutions (other museums) but with the video game industry; in order to develop successful products, museums must take this into account from a double point of view, both qualitative (development and implementation of contents) and technological (in terms of playability, the importance of active participation of users and graphics).

To give an overview of the social and global context on which museums face and in which they take their first steps with video games, it is necessary to refer to some data published by Fabio Viola, gamification designer and creator of TuoMuseo.

In fact, according to some statistics released by Istat at the end of 2013, the need to adopt new tools is deduced to make the Italian cultural heritage usable, enhance and productive; in fact, just think that 50.7% of museums have their own website, 5.7% allow reservations and online purchase of entrance tickets to the collections, 3.4% of museums can be reached via mobile app, 42 , 3% publish the calendar online with their initiatives and events, 22.6% send a newsletter and 13.3% make the digital catalog available. At the moment only dozens of museums have voluntarily asked to participate in the experimentation phase. Thanks to the free platform combined with the ease of use, it is possible to manage all the functions independently. This opportunity therefore allows you to better plan cultural visits by identifying the museums and works to visit. Furthermore, with TuoMuseo the visitor can become the protagonist (user-centric) and co-creator of the cultural experience both online and on site. It is possible to make the experience more social, participatory, fun and prominent through the inclusion of dynamics typical of gamification. Consequently, the cultural heritage is not diminished, but thanks to a series of missions, a series of ways to interact with a work of art can be suggested.

Thanks to the spread of the internet and social media, a lot of content has been produced. In Italy, for example, the Italian Videogame Publishers Association (AESVI) has recorded a strong growth of the videogame market with a huge differentiation of genres (be they women, men, children or children) and of the instrument used (console, personal computer or mobile devices). From this very strong growth, a greater active participation by users, the possibility of making independent decisions and the learning by doing process have been perceived.

Therefore, adopting a gamification approach in the museum field leads to research and respect for the balance between the desire to make the museum service rich and with an interactive experience and the need to use a game design consistent with the context, the contents and above all to the mission. In fact, as already mentioned, if the video game were limited exclusively to establishing a competitive environment, it would risk not being able to involve the user in the way in which it was prepared and consequently the mission would not be achieved.

So it would be necessary to start talking about the transformation of the museum no longer as an exclusive place but as an inclusive place, from a place of education to a place of learning.

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