Here is a summary of recent survey of some users of Survivor WW1:

Best use

SWW1 works most successfully as a guided activity. All respondents said its content was ideal for their audience, 2 noting that it especially suited school groups. More than 14,300 people have seen or played SWW1. Of those 3,435 are recorded as actively participating in a guided visit, although the actual number is likely much higher. Little guidance is needed for Secondary School age, a lot for Primary School age. As an educational tool respondents said, (in order of frequency), SWW1 is: informative, fun, very engaging, memorable, great social learning, a great adjunct to the exhibition, visually attractive,  & reasonably effective for key messages. The effectiveness of SWW1 is influenced by the amount of buy-in from museum staff.


SWW1 is reasonably easy to make, for non-technical staff or volunteers, although this can take a long time. The designer readily fixed the few problems that needed solving. Because clients are making SWW1 themselves, they can easily adapt it for their own requirements. Small museums prefer to make SWW1 by hand. This makes it easy to fix in-house. Medium-large museums would like the option of paying for items to be laser-cut.

Durability of Materials

Cardboard boxes proved to be durable in one small museum for a number of years, but were ripped apart by visitors in another after 3 months, despite both museums having SWW1 available as an unguided activity. Other museums laminated photocopies, or mounted them on foam-core for durability. Museums are using SWW1 for between 5 months -4 years.


All respondents said SWW1 was excellent value for money, especially for school visits. The environmental sustainability of SWW1 was not important to most museums. 4/6 museums are interested in buying another interactive DIY exhibit, like SWW1: 2 definitely, 2 dependent on theme.  Future themes of interest include:  Capt Cook, The 1918 Influenza Epidemic, The Armistice, Early Maori Survivor

Design Considerations

Good ideas and adjustments that could be carried forward into the design of the next DIY interactive exhibit include:

·      Make an AV presentation to supplement instructions

·      Instructions for scoring must be easy to follow

·      Visual information for finding answers to the game must be clearly visible

·      Differing levels of instructions/method of play could be made for different age groups/repeat visitors, including younger children.

·      Museums could augment exhibit-activity with original or replica objects, graphics, documents, etc & create a lending list of these items.

·      Give museums access to the background research, especially fascinating facts.

·      Organize the files better, and make them capable of being laser-cut.


Survivor WW1: Some useful background info for educators

Here are a few things that I thought of as I was designing Survivor WW1 that may be of interest to educators who are using it:

  • The colors chosen for each campaign represent a feature of each landscape: yellow for the desert of Sinai and Palestine, blue for the sea at Gallipoli, and brown for the mud on the Western Front. A nice little mnemonic tool for remembering the 3 campaigns.
  • The survival chart is based on the schedule of pensions payable for different types of injuries issued to NZEF veterans form p105 of Damien Fenton's New Zealand and the First World War
  • For younger primary school children it may be sufficient simply to play a game of matching the battle order item to its name, and dressing a soldier with the equipment in the correct place.
  • The percentage lost/gained for each incorrect/correct item of battle order equipment could be adjusted according to the age of the participants.
  • An entire class could be bandaged according to the percentage of survivors, casualties and deaths for one campaign, and then photographed.
  • Photographs of participants in the soldier cut-outs with bandages could be posted on a wall beside the exhibit, or on the museum's website.
  • The hats used at Gallipoli were various, so although I've designated the Sun Helmet for Gallipoli,  the felt hat of the Mounted Rifle Brigade is not incorrect. The Mounted Rifles joined Gallipoli without horses. The Steel Helmet is incorrect for Gallipoli, as it was first issued to the NZEF in 1916 at the Western Front.

If you have any ideas or observations to share with other users of SurvivorWW1 please do post them below.