GLAMi Nomination

From a learning kit to a major exhibition: Gallipoli in Minecraft
Institution: Auckland War Memorial Museum
Designer: Auckland War Memorial Museum
Tags: Co-design, Cultural Gaming, Education, Experimental, Gallery, Game, Innovation, Outreach, Participatory, Virtual Exhibition, VR

In 2014, Auckland Museum took up the challenge of engaging youths in an outreach project to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the battles of the ANZAC troops who fought in the Gallipoli campaign in World War I.

Although it was initially intended to be a only digital resource, the quality of the produced work and the great interest in the project all around soon led to the development of a major exhibition in 2015: Gallipoli in Minecraft.

During the development of the exhibition, the Museum team explored new ways of working to truly co-design it together with its target audience of 11 – 14 year old youth. This meant:

  • Turning a learning programme into an exhibition
  • Having youths involved with the process all the way
  • Embracing gaming culture as an educational vehicle
  • Bringing virtual reality technology into the galleries

As an early adopter and innovator within a museum education environment, Auckland Museum took calculated risks on Gallipoli in Minecraft® in order to discover exciting new ways to access and share collections with the current generation of school-aged children.

The Learning & Engagement team sees the co-design and co-development aspects of the project as an important way to authentically engage this audience while learning more about them, their interests and their motivations—a mutually beneficial two-way process. Working with youth to develop resources for youth has been part of the team’s approach for some years now, with Gallipoli in Minecraft® offering some major new insights into co-design and game-based learning. The Museum will continue to work collaboratively with school-aged children and youth to develop themes associated with the Museum’s collections and research, maintaining a strong digital dimension and always seeking to innovate.