Recently I’ve been drawn to the sweets spot where fantasy and reality meet – where better than in game? I’ve lived and worked in manchester over half my life now but never really fully explored its history in any depth. Over the past week or so, however, as a Histonaut, playing a game at the Manchester Histories Festival I’ve discovered, uncovered and shared manchester’s history online and on the streets of Manchester. A few years ago the first Histories festival didnt really appeal to me – a whole day in Manchester Town Hall with 1000 school kids and local history groups with poster boards and talks didnt sound like my cup of tea. This year however – different story – @noveltyshoe forwarded me an email with a challenge to play a game to explore manchester and win points for challenges. On day one we were given a mission to take a photo of another histonaut and to find a histonaut badge at the launch of the festival. The next day i found myself topping the leaderboard and from then, i was hooked. As we got a new challenge each day, from documenting and posting photos of blue plaques around the city (which then get added to open plaques, to taking pictures of buildings to match those in Manchester archives, it became more about being a citizen curator, bringing history to life, learning and experiencing the city in a new way than trying to win the game.
Manchester Histories – a #histonauts2 journal @mcrhistfest