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Canadian War Museum

Services Deliverables
  • Video Production
  • Audio Production
  • Post-Production

Building the connection between War and Games

“War is not a game. Yet war games offer insights into our relationship with real and virtual armed conflict.” In 2021, the Canadian War Museum embarked on the creation of a brand new exhibition that focused on the interconnection of how war and games influenced each other through the centuries and around the world. Many of the games we play at home, from chess to online multiplayer battles, have been shaped by contemporary and historic conflicts.

An expansive suite of engaging audio/visual content

Forge Media + Design, along with our partner Knockabout Media, was brought on board to work with the curatorial team at the Canadian War Museum to create a suite of audio/visual content for this expansive exhibit. This included production, conducting one-on-one interviews, creating soundscapes and the custom creation of two large scale projection installations. Supporting the wonderful exhibition design by Haley Sharpe, the audio/visual content helped infuse a strong dynamic of experiential storytelling into this engaging and immersive exhibit.

Visitors were greeted by a soundscape in the first zone that emulated various games played throughout different eras.
Videos were incorporated throughout the exhibit – some hidden behind swinging panels and some projected as feature pieces.

Overcoming obstacles with creative thinking

The project development took place during the pandemic, which presented some significant challenges. All planning and discussions were done remotely, but obtaining high-quality video footage without being present with subjects was the most difficult obstacle to overcome. We developed a small filming kit and sent it to each individual with set up instructions, which resulted in surprisingly effective and polished videos. Out of the box thinking also assisted in dealing with the quality of certain archival imagery being unusable. To fill these gaps, we applied a different treatment – creating animations that employed a Jack Kirby-esque comic book style, filing in the blanks and supporting the Cold War era themes. This ended up making the material approachable, family friendly and attention grabbing.

Visual elements of the exhibit design were pulled into ‘Your Turn’ – the projection mapped finale to the exhibition.
Using elements of archival footage and custom animations in the style of Jack Kirby, ‘Cold War Threats’ was featured alongside a NORAD radar unit.

Experiential content designed to drive learning and attendance

From start to finish, the audio/visual content that was crafted for the exhibit added high levels of engagement for the visitors, highlighting some key points that explored the connections between military conflicts and popular games. The collection of videos that we produced presented thought-provoking perspectives from professional gamers, researchers, designers and veterans, shedding light on our relationship with real and virtual armed conflict. The exhibit was very well received, bringing in well over 100,000 visitors over its 6 month run, with a great deal of positive feedback.

The exhibit was made up of archival footage, remotely shot interviews, audioscapes and audio only interviews, as well as custom project pieces.
Audience engagement through content not only draws attention, but also informs and drives thoughtful reflection.
  • 140K visitors attended
  • 6 month duration
  • 11 audio/visual pieces
Forge was able to assist us with managing the process during the pandemic and its various challenges, offering creative solutions. From remote shooting and coaching our subjects so that we could include our experts’ perspectives to finding alternatives to poor quality or missing archival footage with out of the box thinking.
Marie-Louis Deruaz, Creative Development Specialist