Ever wondered what to do with a room full of model boats in display cases? Play a 3D, to-scale version of Battleships of course! Greg McLaren from Stoke Newington International Airport tells us more about the Battleships game taking place this Saturday and Sunday as part of our live gaming festival #Player11.
One autumn in the late 1960’s the finest model ship builders were summoned to the Science Museum and put to work with tiny chisels and miniature rivets. They were to create an exhibition of exquisite models to echo Britain’s naval prowess and glory, and long did they toil. But not quite as long as the exhibition has been on display.
Before the current multi-mediated, intimately interactive and well thought-out exhibitions, there was the display case. The window to the past, the incubator of time, the proud bearer of artifact. We’d push our faces against the glass, turning the object round in the mind, imagining all it’s potential uses, all the possible and impossible situations it had survived, unable to tell whether our ideas were real or no.
I was floundering in this nostalgia last week in the Shipping Gallery, the location for Battleships: Ocean Apocalypse, a live, fully dimensional version of the classic vector thriller. Next year the thousand or so models, mini-engines and bits of navigation kit will be removed to make way for a new gallery, so we’re taking this opportunity to inject a last bit of life into the hulks and the paddles and the turbines.
This is the non-deleterious war the brittle liners have been dreaming of! Where ancient Northumbrian fishers can fight alongside Britain’s first nuclear submarine! Two teams will assemble a fleet from their favourite models and battle it out across the vast floor of the gallery. Miss! Miss! Hit!
Museums should activate the imagination and stimulate the mind, and while most of the new generation of exhibitions are excellent, I reserve a place in my heart for the simple, static object who’s history can be whatever I imagine.
The traditional game of Battleships becomes life-sized in our Shipping Gallery 1-2 October at 11.00, 11.30, 12.00, 12.30, 2.00, 2.30, 3.00, 3.30 and is suitable for all ages.