MuseumQuest uses gamification to preserve museums’ relevance to next generation

December 20, 2019

MuseumQuest, a mobile app that works to gamify the museum-going experience, is designed to “help museums preserve their relevance to a younger generation in the midst of the largest communication shift in 500 years,” LifeQuest Studios founder Bob Lair said.

Museums recognize that smartphones are integral to the communication of both the Millennials and the iGens, that generation born between 1996 and 2014, Bob said.

That’s why they spend more than $3.5B annually to incorporate tech into their exhibits and offerings.

But it’s not enough to just copy and paste the text from the exhibit into an app — these younger museum-goers want an experience, he said.

That’s where MuseumQuest comes in.

MuseumQuest pulls users into online games and competitions with classmates that require them to actually engage with the real-life museum exhibits to find answers and complete challenges.

“We combined gamification, mobile tech and education techniques to help them engage with and explore exhibits themselves,” Bob said.

Bob and his wife, Debi, are museum fans, and they raised their son, a member of the iGen generation, in museums. So when he blew off their suggestion to visit a museum with some friends, they were surprised and concerned, he recalled.

So he dug into the research — the smartphone, he discovered, is heralding the largest shift in communication since the printing press, he said.

He teamed up with his wife, an elementary educator with 24+ years experience in the field, to build a mobile app that deployed proven educational strategies while still engaging the user.

It’s the first time they’ve partnered up on one of his development projects, he said.

MuseumQuest is designed to be customized for each museum. Bob estimates that between 4-5K of the country’s 30K museums would be candidates for the software, based on museum revenues and disciplines.

He built the first pilot quest for the National Museum of the United States Air Force. It received rave reviews from the pilot users — including his iGen son.

Bob pitched MuseumQuest at our September 2019 Early Risers. He is seeking connections to museum leaders.

“We dream forward, looking at what this will mean in future to make a living traveling to museums to help build content to help reach next generation,” he said.

Reach him at [email protected].