Seba is an interactive game-based mobile application to be used as a virtual companion and personal tutor that could enhance the Grand Egyptian Museum experience and entice visitors into engaging more widely across different museum exhibtions. Through the project the possibility of using digital gaming platform to curate the Grand Egyptian Museum to its visitors was tested.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is soon to be the greatest and largest collection of ancient antiquities in the world; if a visitor were to give each item 2 minutes of his/her time they will need 2 months to complete it. The museum aims to take grasp of the diversity of Egypt’s heritage, to preserve this huge legacy in one place, and to become a major worldwide hub for Egyptologists and tourists around the world and provide them with a uniquely enjoyable, educational, and cultural experience.
Dr. Tarek Tawfik, General Director of the Grand Egyptian Museum, envisions its future to be the “Museum of The 21st Century” that aims to build a bridge between the past and the future through a massive interactive repository of exhibitions. With an expected attendance up to 15,000 visitors per day the Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to partially open in May 2018.
Apart from understanding the framework of these case studies, I also had to familiarize myself with how interactive actions come to life from a developmental standpoint. I was able to research a new form of low frequency bluetooth technology called “iBeacon” that is currently being used in modern museum installations.
Prior to applying my research methods, I had my own fears of the Egyptian community being too removed from technology, however, I found out that all native Egyptian visitors owned a smartphone and that 30% of them were operating different edutainment and puzzle applications while 70% had arcade games installed on their devices.
To utilize the rapid technological development of smartdevices in developing an interactive mobile application that showcases rich and informative content in an interactive gameplay format. While incorporating modern and minimal design aesthetics within a intricate and complex information architecture.
The core functionalities were picked using the KANO Model survey test, which rated features based on potential dissatisfaction, satisfaction and importance perceived by the participants on the basis of the maximum frequencies obtained. The features that were deemed most important were the map, favourite item and schedule features.
Many functionalities and game activities had to be tested with visitors to makes sure that they are engaging and not distracting visitors from their tours. Therefore I created a mockup of the gameplay concept and tested with visitors at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir.
The core values of the Grand Egyptian museum are “Kingship” and “Eternity”. Based on the research the symbol “Seba” was chosen, it is an Egyptian symbol of an equidistant star that the ancient Egyptians believed the, “Ba”, soul might ascend to the sky to live as a star in heaven; which made this symbol the perfect epitomy of eternal life.