Natural History Museum's Venom Challenge - Joi Polloi

A killer quiz for fearless followers and valiant visitors

The Natural History Museum’s Venom: Killer and Cure exhibition was a detailed look at  some of the world’s most venomous creatures and their surprising connection to human health. Visitors could see the world through the eyes of both predator and prey and explore the effects of venom and the role it plays in the natural world. The Museum approached us for ideas on how to promote the exhibition online.

A snake seemingly attacking the title - A Killer game of WOULD YOU RATHER... Screenshot of the NHM game landing page
The Venom game in use on an iPad
The Venom game in use on a phone
Several screenshots of the game on phones

After a workshop with the exhibition team to understand its content and tone, we developed ideas which could push the boundaries of being  edgy, humorous and frightening.

Our response to the challenge was to develop a killer game of “Would You Rather?”, where players had to choose between two scary-looking creatures to identify which was the most dangerous to humans, with frequently surprising results. Rounds of the game were interspersed with horrifying real-life anecdotes from people who had been bitten, stung or otherwise poisoned.

The resulting experience was designed to be unnerving, educational and shareable, drawing people in with a simple “challenge” game mechanic, and then giving them an insight into what the exhibition had in store and bringing the science to scary life. With the 25-35 age range in mind, the experience was designed to be “˜snack-able”, played quickly and then shared amongst friends and on social media.

Analysis of feedback and analytics indicated that the game was more successful than traditional marketing methods of videos, and delivered at a fraction of the budget. 

A screengrab reading "Time's up - TOO SLOW" from the game
Inside the Natural History Museum - a person looking at their display
A snake in the natural history museum

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