Not just plastics

Susan Lambert's picture

Although 10 Most Wanted  is being piloted on plastic objects, the purpose of the project is to create a methodology suitable for use by different sorts of museums and heritage sites. In this endeavour we are being helped by an Advisory Group comprising people with expertise in a wide range of other subject areas. So as to make their involvement not too onerous, we propose drawing on their expertise at three pivotal stages of the project: the beginning, with a view to ascertaining any pitfalls we should avoid; once the game is playable to see if it could work for their subject areas; and towards the end of the project to test from their standpoints the value of the guidelines, data and templates we will be creating for use nationally.

We have recently made the first contact and the feedback received to date has been wonderfully helpful.  Potential pitfalls that have been highlighted are how players' ranks will be assigned and what will trigger promotion; the importance of flagging up clearly the different perspectives from which players come, so that the ultimate ‘consumer’ of the research can assess the research presented in the light of that context; and the need to appoint a professional ‘referee’ who might resolve factual disputes, who would diplomatically seek to achieve outcomes that the group could communally sign up to and be proud of, yet who would not surrender integrity in a desire to please all.

We have also been made more aware of the need to provide players with research guidance and the problem of researching objects you can't physically touch and feel, and thus the importance of creating oppotunities for players to meet the objects and each other. Particular challenges are how to encourage players to build upon the work of others, collaborating and interacting within their research and how we sustain their long-term involvement and commitment at a reasonably advanced level of research.

Some of these pitfalls and challenges have been addressed and others are work in progress. It is very helpful having people playing the game and contributing information as this helps us see what we need to do to make it work better.

We have also been encouraged to give higher priority to personal stories of people who have actually bought or used the objects featured. In this connection we were pleased to hear from Stephen Hill about his collection of 'Byson' stair carpet clips. He commented: '15 years ago when I was renovating a 1920s house in Wolverhampton I found a box in a local junk shop. Some were broken and most had paint on them. Over the years I've picked up more as and when I've seen them for sale with the intention of making up a good complete set'.

An appropriatly transparent  Intellectual Property strategy that protects  everyone's interests appropriately is vital.  We are hoping we have cracked this. The current Terms & Conditions are  complemented by three ground rules players are asked to agree to when they register to play.

We welcome your views. Please comment.smiley