"Among classic book collectors, there have always been rumors about a certain ancient, mysterious organization - the Shanhai Association... You are a writer of detective stories and have listened to the legends of the Shanhai Association from your father since you were a child... You receive a private message from an online message board member named Wang Hai, inviting you over to his home, saying there is an 'emergency related to the Shanhai Association.'"
"Protecting the Classic Books - Treasures of the Shanhai Association" is an interactive "treasure hunt" launched by the National Museum of Classic Books in Beijing on Sunday. Players taking part in the experience at the museum each receive a sealed letter with puzzles and clues related to two of the museum's exhibitions to solve the mystery. One is an exhibition on the protection and inheritance of ancient books, where more than 330 valuable ancient books are on display. The other is the Memory of Oracle Bone Inscriptions exhibition, where 65 oracle bone inscriptions from the museum's more than 30,000-piece collection are on display.
After solving each puzzle, the players will get a package of new clues, puzzles and tools with which they can use to seek out new answers from among exhibitions.
The museum invited experts from various fields such as culture, education and games to design the experience, with the goal of promoting ancient book conservation and the essence of Chinese culture. After sixmonths of devoted research and development and several pilot tests, the experience has finally been introduced to the public. Spots for the experience were quickly booked solid, according to a staff member at the museum. The game has been attracting a wide range of players, from primary school students to college students, as well as grandparents with children and young professionals looking to have fun with their colleagues.
The museum said it plans to release other experiences using the fictitious "Shanhai Association."
"The National Museum of Classic Books hopes present the rich knowledge, history and culture of Chinese classic books from a brand new angle to the public through novel and popular games. This unique experience of exploring the exhibitions will hopefully cause more people to love museums from their hearts, pay more attention to the protection of classic books and gain a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese culture," the museum said in a press release.
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