Room of wonders receives the MUSE award

2008 Muse Award Winners: GAMES Entries are interactive activities that are educational and entertaining, and may involve competition or role playing. Jury Chair: Len Steinbach Cultural Technology Strategies HONORABLE MENTION: French Regional American Museum Exchange

“Room of Wonders” or “La Chambre des Merveilles”

Judges said:
The judges found Room of Wonders very engaging and enjoyed its multifaceted approach to discovering and understanding a historic cabinet of curiosities, its collector, and the diverse range of treasures it holds. By allowing players to virtually "explore the globe" in search of specific objects to complete the collection, the game conveys a sense of exploration of the time and the broad array of objects which were so novel to that time. Judges were impressed that the game goes beyond just an exploration of works of art and curiosity. In presenting itself in both French and English it can awaken a new sense of cultural awareness. By drawing from the collections of 18 French and American museums it demonstrates the power of creatively bringing the resources of diverse museums together. By linking back to the museum websites and their broader collections it provides children with a wonderful ongoing opportunity for personal exploration and discovery.

Producers said:
“Room of Wonders” or “Chambres de Merveilles” reconstructs a curiosity cabinet begun during the 18th century by President de Robien, a scholar from Rennes, France. His curiosity cabinet brought together objects from different parts of the world, representing different eras and all the natural kingdoms: animals, plants, minerals, illusionist paintings, and other curious objects. A bilingual program in French and English, the game targets 8 to 12 year olds in both the US and France. Produced by FRAME (French Regional & American Museum Exchange), it furthers FRAME’s goal of broadening bi-lateral cultural awareness while bringing new meaning to broad range of art stewarded by its 24 member institutions. Players explore world geography, learn to appreciate diverse world cultures and explore objects’ meanings through games that explore shapes, designs and sounds. Children have reported heightened curiosity about world culture and that their curiosity extends beyond the game to art in other museum collections. The project was funded by the Annenberg Foundation, and produced by Kahn+Associates, Paris, Laurent Kling, Project Manager. The concept was developed by Carole Marsac and Laurence Imbernon of the Musees des Beaux-Arts de Rennes working with FRAME's team of educators in France and the US.