The challenges Europe faces today – wars, pandemics, populism – feel overwhelming. But they’ve all occurred before. Those who remember – survivors, historians, museum experts – work hard to bring attention to the lessons these histories teach us, but their efforts are largely drowned out in today’s oversaturated media environment.

MEMENTOES seeks to fill this gap and bring the lessons of history to the fingertips of a wide audience using a ubiquitous modern technology: video games.

The project pairs three museums focused on historical injustices – the USSR’s gulags, wars impacting children, and a mining disaster – with independent game developers. Together, they’ll develop games that allow users to inhabit the perspectives of different groups involved in these events, emphasizing the experiences of regular people. Ultimately, the games will encourage players to develop empathy for marginalised groups and learn about the past while drawing connections to similar issues unfolding today. The consortium will also publish guidelines and best practices for partnerships between museums and game developers, so the MEMENTOES approach can be replicated in future projects.

For centuries, historians, philosophers, and politicians have asked how we can best learn from the past. MEMENTOES seeks to answer this by combining established approaches to museum curation and historiography with emerging technologies.