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Title: The Gameful Museum : developing a location-based game design framework for engagement and motivation
Author: Romualdo De Carvalho, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 2012
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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The popularity of location-based games, which blend digital and physical gameplay in specific real-world locations, has been rising in recent years. Research in museum studies looking into these games as engagement tools has so far been limited to individual case studies or sporadic overviews of play and games that do not explore the relationship between game design, location, gameplay and the museum experience. This practice-led thesis addresses this gap through the development of a game design framework and guidelines to create location-based games in museums, combined with a study of the impact of the designed experiences on audiences' motivation to visit and engage with museum content. The findings and framework proposed are relevant for museum professionals and game designers who are interested in developing this practice while benefiting from guidance grounded in real-world research. Methodologically, I supplemented a study of past experiences with a first-person gameplay analysis, the results of which informed the design and examination of case studies of games for Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) developed in collaboration with the museum staff and external game designers. Findings suggest that location-based games benefit museums by creating added motivation to visit, attracting new and existing audiences, increasing and diversifying engagement with the museum content, and to a lesser degree, supporting knowledge acquisition. Structuring visits into games limits the possible actions of players while offering agency within those limitations, making the players part of a story and giving them challenges to complete, encouraging visitors to become more active and invested in exploring the space and the content displayed. I conclude this thesis by proposing the concept of the gameful museum as a possible path for museums as institutions of learning and entertainment, offering the location-based game design framework as an instrument to work towards audience development and engagement and highlighting the field's future potential.
Supervisor: Giannachi, G. ; Plunkett, J. ; Lawrence, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: game design ; museum ; location based ; engagement ; motivation ; design framework ; game ; gameful