The Vasa museum - Sailing a ship v2.0

In 2017, Spree in collaboration with Expology made the interactive exhibition "Sailing a ship" at the Vasa Museum. After evaluating the interactive games, it was found that the exhibition needed to be updated and improved.

About the case.

In the old version of the exhibition, the three different games were connected to a single game, where the purpose was, among other things, to emphasize the importance of cooperation and communication between the crew of a ship in order to be able to perform the various tasks that need to be done, such as hoisting anchor, choosing the right sail dependent on wind and navigating and steering the ship. After observations and evaluation, however, it emerged that the games did not produce the desired effect but instead created long waiting times, which in turn led to unnecessary frustration. With this, it was decided that the games would be separated and that the importance of cooperation would be highlighted in other ways.

The three activities where gamified in the exhibition to create fun, instructive and graspable ways to convey the exhibition’s goals for both young and old visitors. In order to control the interactive games, tactile objects are used that represent the actual actions the games intend to emulate. For example, in the game “The Whipstaff”, visitors can use a whipstaff to control and navigate a ship through the archipelago and in the “Anchor game” visitors can use an anchor winch to raise the anchor. The third game is called “The Sailing Game” here visitors can press physical buttons to try to choose the right type of sail depending on which wind power is blowing.

About the Vasa Museum and the exhibition Sailing a ship

“The ship Vasa curved and sank in Stockholm in 1628. After 333 years at the bottom, the huge warship was salvaged and the journey could continue. Today, Vasa is the world’s best-preserved 17th century ship and the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia.”

“Sailing a ship

About the art of sailing in the 17th century.

Testimony from 1628 tells us that Vaasa had four sails set at the disaster. In total, she could carry ten. The sail was found at the excavation far down in the ship in the form of something that most resembled a leaf pile and with sustainability as wet newspaper. After several years of work, the conservators were able to find that the leaf heap contained all the six sails that were not set.

Vasa’s smallest sail, the pre-brake seal, covers a whole wall in the exhibition. As far as we know, it is the world’s oldest preserved sail. The exhibition includes a copy of the large platform from which the sails were processed, 17 meters above deck. You can try to stand here at the same dizzying height and look down to the lowest levels of the museum. In the exhibition there are five ship models in copper that show the complicated maneuver to turn through the wind, the art of sailing in the 17th century. “

“In connection with the exhibition, there is now a game that combines analogue and digital interactivity and calls for collaboration.

Learn what it takes to make the ship sail by solving the tasks together at three stations: pick up an anchor, set sail and steer the ship with the whipstaff. “