Enhancing visitor experience in history learning by using gamification technology combined with 3D avatars

Games are powerful educational tools that have been used successfully by cultural heritage organisations. Such an approach integrates art and education into a game-like structure, through which end-users absorb information via non-traditional routes, which stimulate fun-loving but mentally challenging brain processes. The success of games such as Revolution and the Virtual Egyptian Temple, which are structured around a cultural heritage context, reveals the potential of these technologies to engage and motivate at a level which goes well beyond that of leisure-time activities.

The goal of the PLAYHIST experiment, that will take place at the FHW Hellenic Cosmos venue, is to enhance visitor experience in history learning by using a 3D interactive and collaborative serious game that will engage visitors with new ways of interactive group activities.

“Hellenic Cosmos”, the Cultural Centre of the Foundation of the Hellenic World, is an ultra- modern Cultural Centre and Museum that stands out for its innovative programmes. In a multifunctional area, visitors experience Hellenic history and culture, while at the same time it is a venue of cultural creation and expression.

Through the use of state-of-the-art technology like the Tholos, the semi-spherical Virtual Reality theatre where FHW’s digital productions are presented, the examination of Hellenic history becomes a truly remarkable experience. Audiovisual and interactive media provide a new way for the dissemination of historical information, where the audience participates actively. In the virtual Reality projection, the museum educator controls the system, thus specifying what the Tholos system will render and project to the visitors, while at the same time commenting on it. As a sole exception to this, visitors are able to participate in electronic polls which determine the path that the Educator will follow altering in this way the flow of the presentation in real time.

PLAYHIST experiment will try to create a more engaging experience for the FHW visitors transforming one of the interactive projections in a multiuser game in which the participants must achieve a specific goal moving and interacting in the virtual world with a complex aim: obtaining an engaging learning experience about Hellenic history.