Curate-a-fact logo

Curate-a-fact is a simple card game which I developed for the Museums Computer Group Engaging Visitors Through Play symposium in May 2013, and was then used successfully with almost 200 people at the UK Museums and the Web conference in Nov 2013.

It was designed using my simple contextual game framework:

  • The context was museum practitioners interested in low cost yet engaging games.
  • The aims were therefore to demonstrate simple contextual games, education through games, social aspects of games, and low budget solutions.
  • My constraints were: it must be fun, quick to explain, be playable within 15 minutes, and involve 50-80 people.

A curate-a-fact card

How to play

Aim: to curate a small, online exhibition using 4-5 artefacts. Then to pitch your idea in 30 seconds to a panel of judges, who will vote on the best exhibition.

You will need: A set of curate-a-fact cards (one per player, from a deck with roughly equal amounts of each colour).

Setting up: Hand out one card to each player. This is their artefact. Set out numbers from 1-15 (or the total number of players divided by 4) along a table to the side.

Main gameplay: 

  • players/artefacts must form groups of 4 or 5, to make a meaningful collection.
  • cards of the same colour cannot be in the same collection.
  • players/artefacts can move around to other groups at any time.
  • groups have 10 minutes to form and create a coherent description linking their 4 or 5 artefacts.

Pitching and voting:

  • groups are numbered, and then each has 30 seconds (strict timekeeping) to pitch their collection idea to the room. Continue straight from one group to the next, 30 seconds each time.
  • once all groups have pitched, everyone votes for their favourite pitch (not including their own groups’) by placing their card on the corresponding number on the table at the side.
  • once all votes are cast, the cards in each pile are added up and the winner announced.
Photograph of the game in progress

Players curating collections at the MCG Event in June 2013

Further development / different applications

The game has since been adapted for other contexts, with great success. For example:

  • Together with Claire Hamshire, we are working with the Wellcome Collection to create a series of related games. Two have been developed (Case Histories and Diagnose Me) are now in testing within Medicine and Healthcare departments at Universities.
  • Using game mechanics, pedagogic models and narrative themes to create simple learning games (FOTEGame at FOTE, 2014 and ARG Cards at Aarhus University, 2017).

If you would like to use this engaging social game adapted for your own event, contact me.

3 responses to “Curate-a-fact

  1. Pingback: Museums Computer GroupEngaging Visitors Through Play » Museums Computer Group

  2. Pingback: Museums Computer GroupEngaging Visitors Through Play - MCG Spring Meeting - 30 May 2013 » Museums Computer Group

  3. Pingback: Engaging Visitors through Play | Hello

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