A location-sensitive mobile game for competing teams of players.

Design rationale

MuseumScrabble is the result of a design process that started with the simple question:

          "How can we convert an analog tabletop game in a location based, real world game?"

In order to find out, the popular Scrabble word game was chosen. In Scrabble, the aim is to arrange tiles (letters) in meaningful sequences (words).

Consider the word "FEMINISM" in the following image. The letters themselves are meaningless unless they are arranged in that partictular order where they yield 15 points.

Photo of scrabble tiles forming the word "FEMINISM"


In MuseumScrabble, the constucts letters that can be arranged to form words, have been replaced by topics and exhibits. They can be linked using special sentences, the  hints.

An example

A team decides to work on the topic Women and Zakynthos. This topic has four hints:

Next the team members have to decide on their strategy in order to identify the most relevant exhibits for each one of the topic's hints. If, for example, the first hint is examined (“the first woman feminist of Zakynthos”), provided that the players do not know beforehand who may be the first feminist of the region, then they have to search further among the exhibits, making some assumptions: When this person may have lived, what social class she may have belonged to, etc.

This mean that players have to actually move around inside the museum, observe the collection and the exhibits and try to locate possible exhibits that are related to the hint.

The players have to scan candidate exhibits and look for further information either on the labels or in text on the screen of the PDA. For instance, in one of the halls of the museum there is a portrait of Elisavet Moutzan-Martinengou (1801-1832), an autobiographer, story writer, feminist, and woman of letters. The additional information is provided that “...many scholars consider E. Martinengou as the first modern Greek female writer and feminist”. A lot of contemplation and physical movement in the halls of the museum is required in order to
reach the portrait of this lady and find the relevant information so that the players can establish that the portrait matches the hint of “the first woman feminist of Zakynthos”.