THOSE WHO FORGET THE PAST ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT
29% of Germans were born after the wall fell and have no memory of the injustice and grief it caused — and no way to imagine that it could happen again.
But unfortunately, border walls are coming back:
Half of the world’s border walls have been built after 2000.
And the low awareness among Berlin youth is a real problem,
says Klaus Schroeder (Freie Universität):
"Multiple studies show that the less high school students know about the DDR, the more likely they are to have a positive image of it".
Describe the creative idea
TEAR DOWN THE WALL IN MINECRAFT EARTH
30 years after the Mauerfall, the Berlin DDR Museum let a new generation tear down the wall —now in augmented reality.
We built three iconic segments of the Wall in Minecraft Earth, the AR sequel to the popular game. Here, gamers were able to witness the wall in its full scale in Augmented Reality. And to gamify the installation, they could even take part in tearing down the oppressive wall on their favorite platform.
MERGING EDUCATION WITH ENTERTAINMENT
We partnered with the DDR Museum to create an exhibition space and developed a comprehensive package of teaching materials in concert with interactive learning specialists. This allowed teachers to not just drum up interest for the historical subject, but expand it into a fully immersive micro-course on the increase of border walls in our time
Describe the strategy
BRINGING OUR FORGOTTEN PAST TO LIFE
We wanted to drive a new generation to visit the DDR museum and explore the impact of their past. By using a beloved gaming platform, we brought an overlooked piece of history to the attention of a new generation.
ENABLING HISTORICAL EMPATHY
A key component of cutting edge history education is giving students a real sense of what life was before. By using the newly launched AR applications interactive element, we transformed a dull history lesson to an immersive learning experience enabling real historical empathy.
FOSTERING CRITICAL REFLECTION
Finally, by expanding the gaming experience into a fully fledged teaching module, we fostered curiosity and critical reflection on the role of border walls in our own times — prompting questions like if walls necessarily needed to be physical, or the role of digital firewalls and internet equality in democracy and critical discourse.
Describe the execution
The campaign consisted of three coherent elements:
AN IMMERSIVE AR EXPERIENCE IN MINECRAFT EARTH.
To create a friction-free experience throwing users straight into the action, we used Buildplates, a social gaming feature that let’s Minecraft users invite friends to explore their creations side-by-side. So with one click, you could bring up a historically correct, 1-1 full scale model of the Berlin Wall in its original location — or wherever you were.
A CUSTOM INSTALLATION IN BERLIN’S DDR MUSEUM
Voted as one of the most interactive museums in Europe and drawing solid crowds year after year, Berlin’s DDR museum was perfectly poised to bring their historical expertise into the age of augmented reality.
A FULLY FLEDGED TEACHING COURSE
Developed in collaboration with immersive learning expert NAME, this five-module teaching material provided a full curriculum, group exercises and discussion guidelines to drive critical reflection and historical empathy in students from grade 6-9.
List the results
The project just launched, so the results are coming as we’re writing these words. Even before launch, the project has been greenlit by UNESCO in Denmark who’re sharing it on its various channels.
“Tear Down This Wall fits perfectly with the values of UNESCO: Education, culture and communication between nations. That’s why we’re supporting it and sharing it on our platforms.”
Anna Enemark, Secretary-General, UNESCO