New York Historical Society, DiMenna Children’s History Museum
Founded in 1804, The New York Historical Society (NYHS) represents New York’s oldest museum, but in 2011 NYHS embarked on a three year, $70 million renovation. Unified Field Inc. created twenty-two interactive exhibits for the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, the ground floor museum that brings history to life through interactive experiential learning.
The permanent exhibition at the DiMenna Children’s History Museum focuses on the stories of New York City’s children through biography based pavilions, which include touch screen interactive media walls, interactive kiosks, educational games, media viewers, a holographic pepper’s ghost object theater, and an interactive movie experience.
I developed the software for a number of the interactives including Newsies – where a user controls a newsie that sells papers and avoids bullies, American Dreamer – a photo booth for matching photos to professions, Historical Viewfinder – which allows viewers to view then and now photos of New York, and Cast Your Vote – a game that allows visitors to guess which Americans could vote at various times in history.
The Newsies game was designed with a visual style that references old-time painted photographs from the turn of the century era. A faster animation style also implemented in reference to film footage from that time. In the beginning a user chooses which paper company to work for. © Unified Field Inc.
Screenshot for choosing a paper and a location in New York. © Unified Field Inc.
During gameplay one tries to sell as many papers as possible. Bullies can come and steal money at certain times during the game. © Unified Field Inc.
Between gameplay session one must use their earnings to purchase food so the character can re-energize and find a place to sleep for rest. One of the characters broken into animated parts. © Unified Field Inc.
Cast Your Vote used old voting ballots as an interface to select different elections in American History and choose citizens who did or didn’t have the right to vote during that time. © Unified Field Inc.
Making selections in the ballot interface that would fold and unfold as different time periods were selected. © Unified Field Inc.
We needed extra people who lived during earlier generations so some of our company’s family members made it into the game. My Grandfather and Grandmother on my Mom’s side are in the left photo in the middle row on the right. My Grandfather from my Dad’s side is in the photo on the right. © Unified Field Inc.
Historical viewfinder would allow a visitor to view then-and-now photos through a viewfinder – the images would also appear in the frames above so they could be seen by a wider audience. © Unified Field Inc.
What Would You Say was an interactive that allowed a user to recite a famous speech while reading a prompt. They were recorded and could watch a replay of themselves afterward. © Unified Field Inc.