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Wellcome Collection releases two online games

17 December 2010

Just in time for Christmas, Wellcome Collection has released two games to keep you busy during the long winter evenings.

Building on our existing web presence (and 'Explore', which allows you to approach Wellcome Collection through selected topics), these new games allow you to look at the content of the collections and the themes of our exhibitions in new and playful ways.

Memory is a version of the game you may know from childhood as 'pairs' or 'pelmanism', with a twist: the more you play, the harder it gets. It uses more than a thousand images from the Wellcome Images database, the majority of which come from Henry Wellcome's collections. Work your way up from masks and advertising through écorché illustrations to the fiendishly hard final level, which could be skeletons, forceps or acupuncture charts. At the end of each level, you can click to find out more about individual images.

Many levels were made possible by Wellcome's penchant for collecting multiple examples of the same type of item to show its progress through history, something you can see exemplified in Medicine Man's displays of surgical saws and prosthetic limbs. Memory's gameplay and elegant graphics were developed by Smile Your Eyes Off, a London-based team, who also produced the Compare Your DNA interactive for our Identity exhibition.

In the High Society Quiz, find out how much you really know about drugs - both licit and illicit - in history, film and culture. Questions come in the form of images, audio and video, and answers come in the form of text and images. The quiz was written by 'High Society' co-curators Mike Jay and Caroline Fisher, as well as collections experts from Wellcome Library who dug through their collections of herbals, advertising and public health education films to come up with some real posers.

The quiz engine was developed for Wellcome Collection by Preloaded, an award-winning London-based creative studio whose previous work includes 1066 for Channel 4 and Launchball for the Science Museum. Look out for more quizzes in the new year.

Also coming in the new year is another game from Preloaded to accompany 'High Society'. In 'High Tea', you are a British opium trader operating in the Pearl River Delta in the 1830s on the eve of the outbreak of the first opium war. Can you sell enough opium to buy the tea Britain needs to maintain its national mood?

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