To combat the view of being stuffy, private institutions, museums are using some of the language of game designers to bring visitors more inside of their world. We would call that “immersion,” the idea that you can be lost inside of place that is not your own. Museums are pursuing engagement and trying to create a dialogic relationship with their patrons, one that involves them talking back.
“It’s less about technology and more about what the visitor can bring to the equation,” said Ms. Bernstein, 37, a pixieish woman who answers questions at a rapid-fire speed. “In the end, we want people to feel ownership of this museum. We ask them to tell us what they think. They can give us a bad review; when we make a mistake they can come to our rescue. We want to engage with our community.”