Life in the Goldrush

A real-world multi-player game where young people can experience what life was like on the Australian goldfields in the late 1800s. Played in a museum context by up to 100 Stage 3 student learners.

Created and written by Ali Gordon
Presented by Powerhouse Museum – Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Sydney

In large groups roles are assigned, rules are distributed and the conditions of life in the goldrush are created in the museum environment. As players begin the quest to pan for gold, they must work in teams or alone to seek supplies, mining licences and people they can trust, whilst evading jail, hold up, illness or even death. Will the players unwittingly replicate the Eureka Stockade, will tensions between different groups of miners cause trouble, will anyone strike it rich?

The game is a wild and raucous adventure, created in a constructivist approach to embodied learning. Following the game, learners discuss their experiences and these are linked to objects and stories from the Museum collection by trained Educators.