The Importance of Research and Writing in Interactive Exhibits
National World War I Museum Interactive Exhibit Design
Created to commemorate American service during the twentieth century’s first great conflict, the National World War I Museum followed a unique approach to bring this forgotten war to life. The museum turned to award-winning multimedia studio Second Story to create a series of computer interactives that would appeal to a new generation of visitors. The interactives had to be both engaging and historically accurate, and Second Story hired History Associates to help develop the underlying content.
One of the museum’s key attractions is a pair of large-scale interactive tables that tell the story of the First World War while providing an innovative medium for group and individual educational activities. Visitors can assume the role of a Great Power, exploring how diplomacy, military tactics, technological advances, propaganda, and domestic politics helped shape the outcome of the war. They can also interact with other players, sending diplomatic messages or responding to military moves. Along with the interactive tables, History Associates researched and wrote exhibit content for a series of interactive battle maps that allow visitors to learn more about the most significant conflicts of the war.
In receiving the HOW Interactive Design Award, HOW Magazine stated that the interactives “help personalize the war and make sense of complex historical events. Visitors can also watch battles unfold on two interactive video screens, which break down the intricacies of trench warfare and put each conflict in context. Judge Kelly Goto found the depth of immersion impressive, as well as the level of research and presentation of complex materials.”
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