I promise that sometime very soon, this blog will return to museums and heritage, but right now, I am still in the self-developing space. I think this week’s blog post should lead to some great developments in this site, primarily through changing the way I am designing the layout of my writing.
A big call out goes through to LinkedIn Learning, where I found this fabulous 40-minute session with Starshine Roshell. Thankfully, my Uni covers the cost of access, but I do believe there usually is some kind of charges for watching these tutorials. Once you click on the ‘Read More’ button, you will be transported towards a new style of post!
When presented with an opportunity to try something different, I will almost unfailingly throw myself into it with enthusiasm exploding within. I love new challenges, and I enjoy not knowing everything. One of the joys that come with University studies is that I find weird and wonderful back alleys of knowledge that capture my imagination. So it was with great pleasure that I discovered sonification through my most recent unit. Ever wanted to hear what music would be created from a spreadsheet tracking obscure archaeological finds? Heck yes please, tell me more!
This is another week of working on my technology skills. One of my primary interests is in continuing to build my writing skills in conjunction with presenting online. In the GLAM sector, everything is tied to communication in some way. Without words, how can you convey to anyone why your topic/item/program is essential. I thought during this university unit, I would try and focus every second post on those written skills in the digital sector. This week, I found myself thinking about blogging (and this blog) while reading through an article on Blog Tyrant.
Continuing on from my research into social media, I'm falling down a seemingly endless rabbit hole of how to harness and use technology more effectively. With my university unit prodding me into discovering what I don't know yet, I started searching around inside Mozilla's Web Literacy page. Scrolling through the courses, I found something that appealed to me: website accessibility. Sadly, the class that was loaded up no longer works entirely, but I decided to let it guide me into some new and exciting topics.
The Australian Museums and Galleries Association has a fabulous Webinar series planned this year, full of interesting and useful topics to consume. There is a pretty wide range of museum skill set being activated (many of which I will be booking in for) and they are easy to access during this time of social isolation.
I was delighted to see that there was a session dedicated to Social Media in Museums, a topic that happily linked in with the university unit I am currently completing – Digital Pasts, Digital Futures. I signed myself up and have taken a few notes that I wanted to share.
It’s been a year of deep thinking around play in museums. I adore the concept of playful interactions; bringing joy and wonderment (often with a sneaky side serve of history) to visitors. I personally love finding spaces that encourage me to play inside them; from chasing butterflies across an interactive wall to bumbling my way around puzzle rooms.
I stumbled across Dr Conway’s article this week, and I just wanted to share it immediately. “From monologue to dialogue: towards playable cities” explores some of the differences between games such as PokemonGo and Hello Lamp Post.
I'm almost in my last year of University! Joy! Happiness! Immense bloody relief!
Occasionally, as I rocket my way towards the end now, I find myself in first year topics that I somehow managed to leap frog in my excitement to get to the end. Last semester, due to this, I found myself in the delightful "Global Ethical Challenges". Suddenly, all the lessons from 'The Good Place' became useful!
Part of the unit included a creative response to a topic. I thought I would give it a bit of a museum twist and wrote this short story:
Admittedly, I may be finding myself spending a lot of time at the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) at the moment. Three times in 12 months is surprisingly high, but the topics they have been covering just tickles my brain into thinking more creatively and more broadly.
Digital Directions is an annual symposium, now in its fifth year of existence. The purpose of the symposium is designed to consider the future of our collections in the digital age. Like all good events, the NFSA collaborates with several other excellent institutions including (get ready for some alphabet soup): ABC, AIATSIS, ANU, AARNET, NAA, NLA and NMA.
This year’s speakers were fabulous, and the topics were broad and exciting. Will I go again? Absolutely! This is my very brief summary of the talks I managed to get to
Something a little new, I thought I would review museums as seen in movies, just for a bit of fun.
Being the lover of action films, I’m not sure how I ever missed Demolition Man. However, watching the movie set up some particular narratives, that I’m definitely not on board with, I’m not devastated by this hole in my pop culture knowledge. There is a museum scene in the film, which I found pretty amusing.
There is nothing quite as satisfying than having a moment where a number of your passions come into alignment at the same time. Last weekend I had the joy of visiting the National Sound and Film Archive to explore the new exhibition ‘Game Masters’. My museum life was hanging out with my gaming life, and I don’t think I could have been more satisfied.
The world of gaming is going through an incredible time at the moment. Back when I was a wee girl in the 1980’s popular opinion made video games the realm of the young and those who had nothing better to do. They were something to scoff at, an illegitimate form of entertainment and the domain of the basement-dwelling white pasty male.
Honestly, I felt like a bit of a rebel against society. A girl who was playing games and thumbing my nose at those who thought my past times were a sign of immaturity. For me, and many of my friends, they were a style of storytelling that I connected to. The games that really stick out in my mind are Zelda, Final Fantasy and the Dungeons and Dragons PC games. I migrated from console and PC gaming, and made my way into tabletop games, designing stories and worlds that would explore the narratives that I connected to. I think it moulded me into team player, a deep thinker and a problem solver.
I’m extremely impressed to see that the National Film and Sound Archive are accepting their first games into the collection. It’s only right that collections start to reflect this medium more fully, not just an art form, but as something that has (and will) influence society. It will be interesting to see how they go about this process with some game consoles beginning to get to the end of their spare-parts life. It sounds like a great adventure in future planning!
The Game Masters Exhibition is fabulous. The exhibition was initially debuted in its home, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. It’s travelled extensively overseas, and this is its first visit to Australia. The exhibition stretches over three spaces all of which include a startling number of games that you can play. This is a hands-on exhibition, with staff on hand to explain ideas and gameplay to visitors.
I loved the theming of the spaces, and the text panels were spot on. It’s rare to see so much information readily available about the game designers and how a game comes together. The games were all working, almost a miracle considering the breakdown rate of touch screens and TVs in exhibitions. The games and designer choices are really thoughtful, pulling out trailblazers that started genres (like Wil Wright, Peter Moyneux) and new Indie designed creating amazing concepts (like thegamecompany and Ken Wong). There were many moments were Mr Geek, and I made squeaky excited noises where we found a game that we loved and felt connected to. We tried a few new things. I oooh-ed and aaaah-ed at drawings and handwritten notes and company structures and models. It was just fabulous fun with ways of engaging people who may have no interest in the genres at all. There are a good number of photos below with notes.
I wish there were a merchandise shop for this one because I would have loved to go home with some swag. I like that the exhibition wasn’t buying into the stereotypical mouth-breathing basement-dwelling nerd. I felt very welcome and among a wide variety of people from the community. I was not the only woman playing enthusiastically on the consoles, which was fabulous to see. There were youngesters, all the way through to people who may have started gaming significantly before I was born.
Whether you love games, feel confused by them, or just want to understand what the gaming community finds in them; this is an excellent opportunity to learn about why they matter and who some of the movers and shakers have been.
PS: A shout out to my Dad who had Captain Comic installed on our very first computer. A shout out to my hubby for introducing me to Dungeons and Dragons, and to Mike for letting me play on their Nintendo 64. A big shout out to my weekly gaming group who I design with, solve problems with and imagine better worlds with.
Museum working, game playing and dog loving geek. Tune in for musings about the GLAM sector, and generally geekiness.