By Paula Bray
Museums are faced with some interesting challenges around the involvement and active engagement with young audiences for on-site experiences and programming. It can be difficult sometimes to inspire the younger audiences and to provide experiences that will make them want to return to the Museum. Finding methods of integrating popular online activities, such as gaming, to fit into the Museum program of exhibitions or events can be a challenge but one that we feel is worth exploring here at the Museum.
A few of us in the digital teams have been looking at the massive growth of the online sand-box game Minecraft for a while now and discussing how it’s basic principles link into a lot of the themes and processes that we explore and develop here at the Powerhouse in our exhibitions and through our collection (a few of us in the office are now addicted). Essentially this game is about creating anything you like with a series of blocks in an extremely creative environment. There is the huge potential to explore architecture, design, construction, materials, engineering, community engagement and sharing and how these elements can be integrated into a Museum experience. So we decided that we would trial Minecraft here at the Powerhouse by running a school holiday program in our digital learning lab Thinkspace.