Responses by Eddie Benson, strategist, Active Theory.
Background: Twenty years of Xbox is an incredible milestone, and we wanted to give the anniversary the attention it deserves. Given the Xbox community is familiar with 3-D environments and gamification, we thought an interactive museum would be a great fit for the occasion. The venue—or microverse, as we refer to it—is a connected space and social experience designed for the community. Users join together in the same space as they explore the museum, making it memorable for all.
Larger picture: The museum is part of the 20 Years of Xbox anniversary, which celebrates the last two decades of Xbox. The museum itself shows off a timeline of content that walks visitors through the videogame console’s generations with a bespoke gallery dedicated to each one.
Design core: One, exploring together. It’s a connected experience, so joining the museum will surround you with other users all over the world in real time.
Two, it’s personalized. You can explore the museum of Xbox history, but by logging into a Microsoft account, you can generate your own personal museum with facts from your own gaming history.
Three, it’s honest. Xbox’s story has its ups and downs. The content of the museum genuinely reflects this. While there are some great moments of success, there are also authentic reflections on some of the challenges over the years.
Navigation structure: We previously created an XR gallery for the Sundance Film Festival that gave us some insight into how users navigate a 3-D digital gallery space. This included being mindful of having the camera view high enough to see content with other avatars in front, making the museum footprint massive to fill the frame and feel impressive, and varying the size of diverse content to represent a hierarchy of information. For inspiration, we started with moments and visuals that we felt would resonate and be nostalgic for Xbox fans. This involved looking at how the graphics and visuals of the videogame console’s different generations evolved over the years, ranging from the evolving UI in the menu screens to iconic Xbox games.
Special features: One, The Halo Museum. This is a bespoke, Halo-themed exhibit for one of Xbox’s most successful videogame franchises. The 3-D environment features content from Halo games and activations over the years alongside 3-D statues and vehicles throughout the museum floor.
Two, The Personalized Museum. Logging into your Microsoft account generates a custom museum exhibit using your data. This includes content like gamerscore—reward points for earning achievements in videogames—titles played, achievements and favored genre. The exhibit also generates a share card for users to take to social media.