Are mobile applications entertainmentality?

Are mobile applications entertainmentality? Or are they a tool that will help us to walk the fine line between entertaining and educated the audience? I believe that they will become a helpful tool to resolving, in part, some the museum politics issues that Luke points out. Mobile application should be able to assist with this because applications can be built by an outside source. This may have an issue of credibility for some applications, but I believe it may help to alleviate some of the political norms. For example, you can take a structure, such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and develop a variety of helper applications, for example, an application that focused on the “others” affected by the Holocaust homosexuals, gypsies, and handicaps. Furthermore, there could be an application (certainly not museum funded) that educates the museum guest on the current holocausts. While Luke argued the memorial gives a sense of “it won’t happen again” an application could counter this feel and invite the visitor to understand this is not a problem of the past. Could you imagine if an app had been built that that allowed you to hold up your phone and see the Enola Gay exhibit as the curators had originally intended? It certainly would have annoyed the protesters and government officials involved but allowed viewer who wanted to see that side of history to get what they wanted.

3 thoughts on “Are mobile applications entertainmentality?”

  1. I love the idea of having a Holocaust Museum app that does what you suggest. That, in my opinion, should be the role of mobile apps in public history–not to BE the entire exhibit, but to ADD left-out information to the exhibit. Luke was too critical in emphasizing what the museum neglected to tell in its exhibition; you can never include everything that needs to be included to cater to everyone’s primary interest. However, I think this is a perfect example of a museum that would benefit extensively from a mobile app that provided an extra opportunity for informative entertainmentality.

  2. Great idea, using an app to read more about information not included in the museum would be a great tool. It is also user friendly and it could be updated faster than a display in the museum. Some information that could be added to the app is the Museum’s dedication ceremony. In Chapter 3, on page 59, the Holocaust Museum was dedicated in 1993, and President Clinton made a speech about the museum educating against arrogance, and an investment in a secure future against whatever insanity lurked ahead. Next to speak was Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, author, the first chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Council, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner. During Weisel’s speech, he addressed President Clinton, and denounced the ethnic cleansing of Yugoslavia. Clinton sat stone faced and didn’t say anything. That is a shame, that during a dedication ceremony of the Holocaust, the president would ignore similar atrocities in Yugoslavia.

  3. Your proposal about apps is great! After reading Luke this week I was struggling with the same issue of entermentality and digital interpretations of exhibits. I think if we do keep apps as only part of the experience we can continue to engage the public in historical information and not suffer some of the things Luke discusses.

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