Sunday, June 29, 2008

FAST Company and Gettysburg National Park - What are you thinkin'???

So I'm enjoying my Sunday morning coffee while the rest of the family sleeps in a little. I'm reading FAST Company magazine and read the article "The Battle of Gettysburg" in the NEXT TRAVEL section. Basically, the aging old park has had a face lift with some new whizbang features. Sounds cool enough, right? Well, you're going to love this...
"Most people aren't visiting to learn," says Elliott Gruber, vice president of the nonprofit Gettysburg Foundation..."They want to have an experience, to be immersed in something."
Where do I even start? Its so frustrating to even read a statement like this that I dare not even comment. However, its little nuggets like this that help me explain to my colleagues in learning that regular people (those not immersed in learning/education/training) STILL consider learning as books, classrooms, and boring instructors from the days of the battle of Gettysburg - While games and immersed experiences are for fun and frivolity.

Mr. Gruber do you REALLY think that ANYONE comes to Gettysburg for anything other than LEARNING??? What you've done is simply make TRUE learning possible for your guests...ALL of your guests. "Multimedia exhibits and movie-inspired storytelling" give your guests a exactly what they need in order to learn. Did you expect that before this people could simply walk out onto the battle field with a brochure and LEARN about a deeply complex and divisive historical event?

I do remember going to Gettysburg as a child and I plan to take my own children. I remember sitting on a cannon and wishing I could pick up one of the cannon balls, load it, and pound it into the cannon with that big stick. And then lighting a match and plugging my ears. That would be so cool! Let me know when I can do that, Mr Gruber, and then I start planning my trip.
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