Museums and the Web 2005
Demonstrations: Description
Photo Credits

See museum applications demonstrated by the people who created them.

Ghosts at the Museum

Jules Morissette, Musée de la Civilisation, Canada

Demonstration: Demonstrations - Session 1

An educational site designed for young people that presents a large number of collection objects and archive documents, both in their historical context and through an interactive scenario of playful phantasmagoria and virtual visits.

Here is the scenario. A virtual haunted museum. Ghosts have come down from the attic and for various reasons have emptied the exhibitions of their artefacts. The museum director, quite discouraged, calls upon site visitors to hire a museologist who can reconstruct the exhibitions. Visitors who sign up will have to solve riddles pertaining to the objects and sites proposed by the ghosts. When the right answers are given, the ghosts "release" objects that can then be placed in the exhibitions. It is only once all the riddles have been solved that the exhibitions prepared by the player can be opened to the public.

The site includes a virtual visit to three historical sites in Québec (Canada). Each in their own way, these sites convey the history of Québec during the second half of the XIX Century. Certain parts of the game take place during the virtual visit to the sites where ghosts have taken up residence, requiring the player to find several objects hidden in the houses.

These virtual visits therefore make it possible to present the objects in their physical environment and historical context. The objects selected are artefacts that bore witness to the events that took place at these sites and the people who lived there: furniture, dishes, tools, paintings. They speak to us of the various realities such as the population of the area, family structures, the economy, symbols of wealth, the trades, means of transportation, religion, politics, beliefs, social structures and industrialization.

In order to solve the riddles, players have a virtual laptop on which can be found short texts presenting the above-mentioned historical realities. These texts are accompanied by archive documents illustrating the subject. The virtual computer also makes it possible to create various files where the player can store the sheets for the objects collected along the way. Players can also perform keyword searches in a database containing sheets on all the objects and documents presented on the site.

It should be mentioned that the historical themes included on the site were identified in collaboration with elementary teachers so they can use the site in conjunction with their courses.

Making full use of the technical possibilities of Flash to offer fascinating but ergonomic interactivity, the site easily combines animation with photographic vision.

The Musée de la civilisation is counting on this playful approach to interest the general public, but particularly young people between the ages of 10 and 12, in the history of Québec and the objects that are representative of our heritage.

Jules Morissette, Technology Department, Musée de la civilisation, Quebec City is a recipient of a Canadian Professional Scholarship.