22 May 2019 // Announcements

National Comedy Center Laugh Battle Exhibit Receives MUSE Award Recognition

The National Comedy Center’s “Laugh Battle” interactive exhibit received an Honorable Mention for Onsite Digital Experience at the Media & Technology MUSE Awards. The awards, presented by the American Alliance of Museums at its Annual Conference, recognize outstanding achievement in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museum (GLAM) media.

According to the American Alliance of Museums, “The Media & Technology Professional Network’s annual awards are presented to institutions that enhance the GLAM experience and engage audiences with useful and innovative digital programs and services. The MUSE awards celebrate scholarship, community, innovation, creativity, education, accessibility, and inclusiveness.”

Featuring breakthrough Microsoft artificial intelligence technology, “Laugh Battle” is an interactive game that allows visitors to face-off and see who can make their opponent crack a smile while utilizing facial recognition software to auto-detect the laugh and score the point. The exhibit has been a visitor favorite since the museum’s opening in August 2018.

National Comedy Center design Muse Award

Stephen Platenberg of Cortina Productions (center) poses with other Muse Award recipients at the American Alliance of Museums Annual Conference and MuseumExpo.

“As the nation’s official cultural institution for comedy and one of the most technologically advanced museums in the world, the National Comedy Center is pleased to have received an Honorable Mention from the Muse Awards for its Laugh Battle experience,” stated Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We’re proud to have worked closely with JRA, Cortina Productions, Microsoft and Herzog & Company to develop Laugh Battle using state-of-the-art facial recognition AI technology. Together we created an immersive experience that engages, entertains and educates visitors as we showcase the art form of comedy — and the work that goes into delivering comedy material to an audience. Response has been outstanding.”

National Comedy Center design Muse Award

“All of the digital experiences at the National Comedy Center are personalized and participatory, but Laugh Battle stands out as a favorite because of the way it uses facial recognition and emotion detection to provide visitors with an authentic joke telling game,” says Stephen Platenberg, Principal and Creative Director with Cortina Productions, “we even suggest jokes tailored to the opponent’s sense of humor profile that we are tracking across all the interactive experiences via RFID.” Cortina Productions is the media design and production company behind Laugh Battle as well as all of the interactive experiences and overall personalization system at the National Comedy Center. Electrosonic provided audio-visual hardware and integration.

“The National Comedy Center is full of unique and innovative experiences, and there is no better example of this than Laugh Battle,” said JRA Senior Designer, Colin Cronin. “After all, isn’t the heart of comedy just making each other laugh?” JRA provided master planning, writing and content development, exhibit design, project management, executive media production and art direction for the National Comedy Center.

Added Gunderson, “We look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to the Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY to experience Laugh Battle for themselves, as well as 50 other exhibits, in what Condé Nast Traveler called ‘one of the best museums in the country.”