Destiny, museums, and the experience

Destiny1 (1)


The most expensive cultural production on the history of humankind was released today (fanfare!)

I’m talking of Destiny, obviously. What can I say? I’m not a great player. I had some “addictions” in my early years: Warcraft and World of Warcraft, of course, but also some games for Spectrum… yes, I’ve played with an spectrum. So I have experience enough to say that: wooooow…

But beyond the oversized data (and the obscene amount of money they invested on it: $500 million) my question is: what can we learn about that amazing cultural product? Lots, I think, but let me change slightly the place of enunciation.

I was in the EAMHMS Conference “Between Medical collections and their audiences” last weekend. It was a great event, with some of the most relevant medical museums in the world and some of the most influential bloggers in the medical humanities. People that I read and admire, such as Joanna Ebenstein, from Morbid Anatomy or Brandi Schillache, from the Dittrick Museum. I talked there, with my friend Nike Fakiner, about our little project “Wax Eloquent“, our mobile app for iOS and Android on the history of anatomical models in wax. But I talked just twenty minutes, and spent all the other time (we were there from thursday to saturday), listening and learning.

What did I learn? Lots of things, but the most important was: we are not talking about things or spaces, but about shared experiences. We need to change our minds, we need to re-arrange our priorities. We need to pay attention in two simple elements: shared experiences while exploring our museums / reading our books.

And that is what we have in common with the creators of Destiny (not $500 millions): we have to think less about our stories (important as they are) and more about how our public experience it.


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