Interestingly, user feedback suggests that the Nintendo 3DS guide may have received mixed reactions. In fact, it seems to have drawn a wedge between two group categories: the under-thirties (approximately 1/3 of all visitors), who have responded quite positively to the new system, and the over-thirties (approximately 2/3 of all visitors), who appear to be somewhat less enthralled by the entire thing.
|Image: Left CC by bixentro. Right CC by Matthew Miller (modified)|
This battle of the ages is being fought on three fronts:
1. Games consoles in a museum
- Under-thirties: many in this category see museums as intimidating, alien environments. Games consoles make museums appear less serious, more approachable and engaging.
- Over-thirties: the idea of using games consoles in a museum is about as appropriate as bringing a vuvuzela to a funeral.
2. Ease of use
- Under-thirties: The console and its interface are very intuitive and easy to use.
- Over-thirties: The console and its interface are very alien and difficult to use.
3. Eye candy
- Under-thirties: The 3D reconstructions of artefacts are cool.
- Over-thirties: I’m standing in front of the actual statue. What is the point?
Of course, these are gross generalisations, concealing an even broader and more complex range of reactions to the system. However, the initial user feedback does highlight two important aspects about ML and some of the challenges faced in its implementation:
1. ML (and digital learning resources in general) have the capacity to reach a broad user base, but these users have very different needs, tastes and priorities.
2. The digital divide is not just about being able to access ICT, it’s also about developing the skills and knowledge required to use it efficiently.