Portfolio of Jesse Heinzen

Play the Past
Mobile Game
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul - 2014

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Play the Past is an engaging student-directed field trip experience supported by technology. Students use iPods to explore the Then Now Wow exhibit. They enter historical situations and, through critical thinking and collaboration, earn badges and collect digital items for later use. Back at school, the interaction continues, as students and teachers can build upon the experience through further research and classroom activities.

Interactions within Then Now Wow include earning a day’s wage in an iron mine, playing the role of a hunter or clerk and making trades in an 1800s fur trade environment, exploring contemporary expressions of longstanding Dakota traditions, and surviving life life on the prairie in a sod house. The game is integrated with physical interactives in the exhibit so that players receive real time feedback on their device when interacting with exhibit components. They can also trigger events through the game to change the exhibit environment.

Play the Past is developed in collaboration with ARIS Games and utilizes the ARIS platform for the in-gallery app experience. The original experience in Then Now Wow was funded in part by a grant from IMLS. The project was awarded an additional NEH grant to expand the program to the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.

Bronze, Education Category, 2014 American Alliance of Museums MUSE Award

Multimedia Director: Creative and Technical Direction, User Experience Design, Physical Interactive Integration, Media and System Design
(On staff with the Minnesota Historical Society)
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