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The Museum Lab Handbook: When Museums Meet Videogames

Villa Albertine and the French Embassy of the United States present When Museums Meet Video Games: The Museum Lab Handbook, from the series of talk and collaborative workshops organized by We Are Museums!

Today, video games are a new social and cultural practice. They have become a new space of socialization where people meet and evolve together. As diverse and varied as one can imagine, video games deal with all of today’s hot-button topics, and are relevant to the majority of the population. The potential of video games for museums is limitless.

However, the relationship between the creative and the cultural sectors of education is still full of pitfalls. Museums often digitize their collections without considering how they appear in digital-native environments, while production studios do not pay enough attention to the historical and scientific context that museums provide. Museums also struggle to pass on a sense of ownership and leadership to their audiences. Thus, it is clear that the relationship between museums and video game studios remains complex and requires further examination.

The goal for “Museum Lab: When Museums Meet Video Games,” from which this handbook was produced, was to raise awareness about this complex issue and to provide a safe environment conducive to honest and impactful discussion. Utilizing the collective intelligence of a well-curated group of professionals, we’re accelerating innovation at the intersection of museums and video games—and this handbook continues that work.


“Museum Lab: When Museums Meet Videogames” was a series made up of three events, each including a public event with lectures by key thinkers from the industry and a collaborative workshop with professionals from different backgrounds to brainstorm collectively.

This handbook groups the reports from these events. They are inspirations and instructions that show the range of possibilities one can look at when wanting to dive into a potential collaboration with a video game studio and/or a museum. They make this handbook a useful resource for anyone interested in these topics.


1. Exploring New Horizons: Video Games and Museums 

When MOMA’s curator, Paola Antonelli, expanded the appeal of MOMA’s art exhibition with 14 video games, it wasn’t only to improve audience interaction with arts, or appeal to a broader audience beyond the art community. Video games help museums tell a better story behind every exhibit in a way that is relatable to people within and especially outside the art community.

Report from the online lectures and collaborative workshop organized on October 28, 2021. The recording of the session can be found HERE.

 2. Museums Spearheading Video Game Collaboration 

Unlike regular video games, combining the art experience and gaming is quite unique. To better understand how museums can collaborate with studios, we invited René G. Cepeda to facilitate collaborative workshops with a group of professionals from museums and video game studios. Dr. Rene G. Cepeda is a Mexican lecturer, independent researcher and curator specializing in New Media Art. He is also the author of the Manual for the Curation and Display of Interactive New Media Art.


 3. When Cultural Institutions Become Video Game Producers

This talk covered how museums can thrive in video game production, but also how they can interact with audiences and collaborate effectively with stakeholders to produce games.

Report from the online lectures and collaborative workshop organized on November 18, 2021. The recording of the session can be found HERE


A new world of tools, technologies, and social habits is created daily in video games, which are being redefined as the new social space for cultural practice. However, how this new space is shaped and behaves depends on the people living in it.

Report from the online lectures and collaborative workshop organized on December 9, 2021. The recording of the session can be found HERE.


Check out the handbook below!



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