Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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Doing online interactives properly – Science Museum’s Launchball at SxSW

March 11th, 2008 by Seb Chan

The Science Museum’s Launchball has just taken out ‘best of show‘ at South by Southwest.

That a museum website interactive could possibly take out that award is truly remarkable and a testament to the Science Museum’s web team. I can’t think on another example where a cultural organisation has had the nouse to make a game that was firstly, great fun to play, secondly, was addictive, and thirdly, had this appeal even if you had no interest in the exhibition space (Launchpad) that it was made for. Likewise, whilst it is ‘educational’, it is first and foremost fun. And that really matters.

Not only is it great fun and challenging to play, it is a great example of how user communities spontaneously can spring up around ‘great content’. It is a timely reminder that really great content counts far more than anything else – still.

Soon after launch it was posted to Digg which ensured that it quickly was seen and played by global tech audience – a very savvy viral marketing plan that didn’t come from any marketing department.

Mike Ellis, formerly of the Science Museum, who was invovled in the project has blogged quite extensively about the process behind its development.

I hope to have an interview with Mike and others involved in the project posted up here in the next few weeks to explore this in greater detail.

For now, huge congratulations to the Science Museum and their web team.

Tags: 2 Comments

  • Agreed agreed. They did such a fantastic job on this one and really approached it the right way. I was over in their offices in the few days before it went live and was eager to get my hands on the final product. I am psyched that this appeal went beyond us edu-game nerds. I know I could learn from the promotion of this game alone. Way to go folks.

  • Seb, thanks loads for your kind words. I’ll get back to your email as soon as I’ve got a second to spare.

    tfn

    Mike