Type: pervasive mobile storytelling game
Purpose: travel back in time to meet and interact with characters from the past to learn history through their stories.
Place: Pielinen Museum, Lieksa, Finland
Technologies: Client: J2ME; server: Java, PHP, MySQL.
This game was developed for the open air Pielinen Museum in Lieksa, Finland. The application is quite different from SciMyst/TekMyst. It features a story-based non-competitive game which allows the visitor to travel back in time to meet authentic (albeit fictional) characters from the past. First there were two characters with their own respective stories. Anna is a 40 year-old woman from 1895 living with her large family in a house called Virsuvaara. Visitors are invited to use mobile devices to interact with Anna and help her through her daily activities of that period, such as weaving carpets and churning butter. Second story is that of Jussi, a forest worker in the 1930s forest camp. Personality of Jussi is quite different from Anna as he does not like to speak nor give too much encouraging comments. The following figure presents excerpts from Jussi’s story. More stories have been developed later by museum curators and visitors.
The game supports supports story-telling flow and each screen can contain, in addition to text, objects such as images, sound or even video. Multiple languages are supported as well just like all *Myst games. Due to flexibility of the platform, adding new stories and characters is fairly easy so in the future a visitor can perhaps choose between Anna, her husband, her children, and servants of the house.
As of early 2010 a content editor created by Mikko Vinni has been available through which the museum curators can create new stories without researchers’ help. The editor was done to fully release the potential of the knowledge and the ideas of the experts and the visitors.
Below are pictures of players enjoying Anna’s story in Virsuvaara house.