Transmedia storytelling and cultural heritage interpretation : the CULTE projectPaper
Candice Chenu, France , Candice Chenu, France, Ronan German, France, Eric Gressier-Soudan, France, Florent Levillain, France, Isabelle Astic, France, Vincent Roirand, France
The theme of this year’s conference “Open Museums and Smart cities: Storytelling and Connected Culture” relates significantly to the lines of research and experimentation of the CULTE (Cultural Urban Learning Transmedia Experience) project that began in 2013 and that will lead to the development of an ambitious transmedia pervasive game in and around the Quai Branly museum in Paris.
The project brings together four partners with complementary skills: LUTIN, a laboratory dedicated to usability studies; CEDRIC a group of researchers interested in interactive applications, specifically in the domain of transmedia and pervasive games; Mazedia, a communication agency that is designing a transmedia platform for cultural heritage and gaming project, and the Quai Branly museum which is heavily involved in the growing presence of transmedia inside museums and whose collections will be the subject of the experiments.
This project fits in a context where museums and smart-cities infrastructures are tightly interwoven. This influences the way people discover and interact with cultural heritage. Paris is known worldwide for being highly involved in the promotion of cultural tourism. Museums and public policy makers are very well aware that in order to welcome and satisfy millions of visitors (both French and foreign) every year, they have to make smart investments to offer new meaningful experiences around the discovery of their collections.
But how can we design these new experiences? How can we rewrite the relationship between people and their environment ? CULTE aims at promoting and experimenting with transmedia storytelling and innovative game play as a way to spark interest and involvement before, during and after a visit to the museum. Transmedia storytelling focuses on spreadability and the circulation of cultural contents in various social spaces. By using both elaborate and traditional media platforms, our objective is to create a sense of continuity and coherence. Gamification is a way to achieve this goal and to sustain the visitors’ engagement throughout the visit timeline.
The Quai Branly museum is both a museum and a research center in anthropology, ethnology and art history studies. What is interesting about its collections is that they reflect many current issues: respect, diversity, tolerance, open-mindedness… thus allowing the visitors to relate more intimately to them. It offers a perspective on the world we live in and encourages civic thinking. For these reasons, the museum can build multiple entry points in the city by using adapted media platforms which is one of the strengths of transmedia. The game can start in the museum or outside its walls, thus building bridges between the collections and the daily experience in the city.
CULTE has the following objectives: an interactive system inside and outside the Quai Branly museum as proof of the concept; a usability study to analyze the pedagogical fallout; the design of a model for a pervasive, transmedia serious-game (audio/visual augmented reality); generic elements of game design for non-programmer staff members; the participation of other museums; an evaluation made by a committee of experts in transmedia and digital technologies for museums.