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Zenica City Museum – Playing Middle Ages

Writen by: Vedrana Arsenić, Zenica City Museum

Zenica City Museum has been nurturing the concept of an open museum for years. One of the most important components of this type of activity and influence is interactive work with the audience, especially with children. We constantly strive, through various activities, to include our youngest audience in the contents we create, listening to their wishes and needs. The classical system of education, although necessary and undoubtedly useful, very often offers somewhat dry ways of acquiring knowledge. We, at the museum, want to be an addition to such education, less rigid and formal and more fun and inclusive.

Therefore, our plan was to enrich the offer at Vranduk and museum with an interactive, interesting, yet high-quality and educational game. The social game that we developed through this project is designed according to the model of board games, which are one of the oldest and still the most represented forms of games. The game is interactive in nature and requires active attention and engagement from the participants following the exhibition settings/legends to which the game refers. It is educational game for the open space, sort of adventure board game.

The game is intended for children and young people, from 7 to 18 years of age. The process of learning through play promises much more than acquiring knowledge from textbooks. The questions and problems to be solved are carefully selected from popular Bosnian medieval history.

What is also interesting and very valuable in this game is possibility to create different layers of games, different questions (cards) which can then be adapted to different ages of children as well as children with certain disabilities.

The objectives of the project were:

  1. Improving heritage interpretation – presenting the rich heritage of medieval Bosnia in a new, interesting, inclusive and dynamic way
  2. Adding value to touristic offer of Vranduk – creating yet one more activity on Vranduk adapted to the youngest audience
  3. Becoming addition and upgrade to classical system of education – creation of ways of enriching school materials
  4. Inclusion – learning about heritage using workshops that are inclusive and accessible as well as helping in the socialization and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the museum activities

It is important to emphasize that he game was created so that certain groups of children with developmental disabilities can use it very simply. The figures are very light and easy to move, and the questions and answers required of the children are easily adapted to the different ages and capabilities of the children.

Considering that the game is very mobile and easy to carry and handle, we can take it to any school and class that for any reason are unable to come to the museum. So that not only children from often privileged city schools will have access to the game, but also children from often marginalized and neglected suburban and rural schools.