Project Archivist Jill Arnold tests the Michigan Historical Center’s Civil War Scavenger Hunt
Everyone loves a scavenger hunt. Now, you can “scavenge” for clues in the Michigan Historical Center! As you enjoy the game, you learn about Michigan’s role in the Civil War.
The Michigan Historical Center’s “Michigan’s Civil War” scavenger hunt (built on a Scvnger ™ platform) can be played on any mobile phone with text capabilities. Questions and answers can be received and sent through text messages. Those with I-Phones or Android Smart phones can also choose to play through a special Scvnger ™ application.
A Civil War Scavenger Screen Shot from an I-phone
Once players are logged onto the game, they will receive questions to answer. They will first proceed through the Michigan Historical Museum’s Civil War gallery, finding answers among Museum exhibits and exhibit captions. Along the way, they view original Civil War artifacts such as rifles, uniforms and political memorabilia. Players then walk to the Archives of Michigan reception area. There, they seek scavenger hunt answers within copies of Civil War documents. These documents include letters, photographs and a military recruitment poster.
The Michigan Civil War Scavenger Hunt requires little foreknowledge of the Civil War. Players need only a cell phone and a fondness for “hunting” answers. Knowledgeable Civil War enthusiasts, however, can also enjoy the hunt and hopefully discover new information.
The game can enhance one’s archives and museum visit in several ways. First, it provides a tool for interaction, thus more fully involving visitors in their surroundings. Secondly, it prompts one to look more closely at exhibits and archival materials. It also provides more opportunities for discussion, as players talk about the questions and evaluate possible answers. Finally, the game is just plain fun. The more people enjoy a museum or archives experience, the more likely they are to return and explore further!