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Texting Ghosts
April 8, 2009

Ghosts of a Chance

Detail from Ghosts of a Chance game manifest

You arrive in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Luce Foundation Center and are presented with a problem; the museum is haunted and we need YOUR help to banish the mischievous spirits. To do this, you need to complete three quests as part of our large-scale multimedia scavenger hunt, Ghosts of a Chance.

The Ghosts of a Chance game began last summer with a three-month-long Alternate Reality Game, or ARG, played online and on-site at various locations. More than 6,000 people from across the country participated. The game concluded with a giant, five-hour, multimedia scavenger hunt in the museum. Players had to solve codes, send text messages, find hidden treasure, interact with actors, and make objects. The final event created such an unusual and fun way to interact with the museum and its collection that we decided to do it again (and again!). Now, once a month, the ghosts reemerge and you are invited to help put them in their place by visiting the Luce Foundation Center with your cell phone. Groups of ten or more can also make an appointment for their very own ghostly experience. Are you brave enough to play?

If so, bring a text-enabled cell phone and a sense of adventure to the museum this Saturday, April 11.

Posted by Georgina on April 8, 2009 in Museums & Technology


Thanks for sharing this information, it sounds like a really great way to engage people in Art, interactivity and the growing interest of our species in all things technological.

What a really great idea, this is something I might try to adopt at our local museum this summer. Thank you.

This is a fantastic idea, do you plan to post more information? This would be great to set up at my local museum. Great post.

I'd be happy to answer any questions that you have about the Ghosts of a Chance game! You can contact me at or (202) 633-8532.

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