Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?
Can one of the world’s newest technologies successfully drive engagement around one of its oldest?
The Royal Australian Mint is hoping that an investment in mobile games technology will be able to boost interest and engagement in a product with a history that stretches back more than 2500 years.
Working with Canberra-based startup, Quizling, the Mint is developing a series of games that will serve to both educate players regarding Australia’s coins and their history, while hopefully building better engagement and driving more visitors to its Canberra facility.
According to the Mint’s general manager of sales, marketing and distribution, Mark Cartwright, the Mint engages with a wide variety of audiences, ranging from foreign governments and central banks (for whom it produces currency), to numismatists (coin collectors) and the many thousands of people that visit its site in Canberra, including 70,000 school children.
“Typically, those people have less than an hour here onsite to take in all that we have to communicate to them,” Cartwright says. “Coinage has been around for tens of thousands of years, and we have the opportunity here to be able to both preserve and create Australian history on coins.
“As a convenient and contemporary way of adding value to that tourism product, the Quizling app enables us to put coins and coin-related knowledge on to people’s phones for them to take away, and hopefully create that enduring relationship and advocate to come and visit the Mint to people back in their own community.”
The Mint began working with Quizling in November of last year, having been originally introduced at a Canberra innovation hub earlier in 2015. The first fruits of that partnership are due to be released imminently, initially targeting school children that have visited the Mint.
“What we would like to see is for teachers to use this as a vehicle to solidify some of the learning and content that has been consumed while at the Mint,” Cartwright says. “We would envisage that the teacher can debrief the visit by encouraging students to jump on their device, and go through these fun quizzes as a learning opportunity.”
In addition to the Mint creating quizzes, Cartwright says the Quizling app also enables users to create and share their own quizzes, with results tallied and compared in a leader board.
The Mint is not the only cultural institution that sees the value of games as a means of building engagement. Other Quizling clients include the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia, and the National Sports Museum.
“As Quizling continues to get support across other businesses and organisations, I can see a burgeoning community evolving where you can jump on and start to learn about a whole range of different subject matter,” Cartwright says.
Future plans include using Quizling to push content out to users to raise awareness of events of exhibitions.
“It provides a great conduit between us and people who have come to visit the Mint, and hopefully results in some ongoing conversations where we can learn a little more about those visitors, what they liked, and what they didn’t like,” Cartwright says.