Display the gameplay but playfully

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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The term ’game museum’ refers to an institution that conserves, archives, and exhibits the history of games. This thesis qualitatively compares the case of the Finnish Museum of Games (FMG, Finland) and Nexon Computer Museum (NCM, South Korea), concentrating on their choices of the object and the aesthetical expressions in the exhibition space. The goal of this thesis is to find the influence of curators and potential game museum visitors on the game museum’s choice of object and aesthetical expressions. This thesis used a combined multi-method of Visual Discourse Analysis and Comic-Based Research. The research questions of this thesis are: 1) How do the FMG and NCM display games differently in the museum space? 2) How do curators and potential museum visitors’ gaming memories relate to the choices of displayed objects and aesthetical expressions in FMG and NCM? 3) How can comics, as a research tool, supplement the study of game museums and their potential visitors? The findings from the thesis indicate that the choice of the objects and aesthetical expressions in FMG and NCM were linked with the sociopolitical discourses upon their establishment and the personal gaming memories of curators. Another important factor discovered is that both game museum curators and potential visitors tend to reflect their memories when perceiving the topic of game museum and their exhibitions. Moreover, both the curators and potential visitors were motivated to establish a positive cultural message on gaming. The thesis suggests that game museums may have to update their exhibitions frequently in order to remain engaging for future generations. This would involve game museums to learn the trend and memories of potential visitors and the games that they enjoy. The use of educational comics, like this thesis research, could be one of those methods for game museums to learn potential visitor’s interest.
Kallio-Tavin, Mira
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game museum, game culture, game heritage, visual discourse analysis, art-based research, comic-based research