A game of excruciatingly correct 19th century Victorian behavior.
March 6, 2005 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Mind Your Manners! Put your knowledge of excruciatingly correct behavior to the test: "Adopt the role of a late 19th century character and try to earn your place in a world where every move is governed by the rules of etiquette." Certainly antiquated but amusing nonetheless.
posted by Lush (36 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
(this is good)
posted by OhPuhLeez at 8:43 AM on March 6, 2005


This is wonderful...the most fun I've had on a museum web site in a long time. Good content on solid social history. The only nits I could pick would be that it reinforces rather than challenges stereotypes of Victorians, and also neglects to place the habits of the wealthy and newly arrived in society in the broader social context that created this intensely formalized system of etiquette. But that's for another time. This interactive does a great job of introducing the rigorous standards of social etiquette, creates curiosity, and gives a sense of immersion. And you have to love the Pythonesque animation.,

Oddly, just a couple of weeks ago my folks sent me a packet of handouts they'd picked up at the McCord on a recent trip to Montreal. Among them was a great game in which you're asked to pretend you're part of the service staff getting a home ready for a formal dinner. You had to go through the steps of setting up the dining room - learning napkin folding, polishing silver, removing vermin, etc. Really fun and creative.

Someone on their education staff is wonderfully creative...and has some $ to work with. Simple, fun, effective. Thanks.
posted by Miko at 8:49 AM on March 6, 2005


I would like to point out that I am a "Picture of Politeness," but I cannot, as I am far too polite to engage in braggadocio.
posted by Floydd at 8:51 AM on March 6, 2005


Cute game. I haven't been to that museum yet (I live in Montreal), but they must serve the greatest food ever there, because it always smells amazing when I walk by.
posted by LiliaNic at 9:11 AM on March 6, 2005


Fun! If Terry Gilliam taught 19th century manners - thanks!
posted by blahblahblah at 9:35 AM on March 6, 2005


that was great fun!

but what does it say about me that i got all the fashion questions right and all the questions about gender relations hopelessly wrong? either i'm very much a product of my own age or i've been reading too much oscar wilde...
posted by venus in furs at 9:41 AM on March 6, 2005


Love it! Who knew that I was such a lady?
posted by scody at 9:41 AM on March 6, 2005


I'm a picture of politeness. Hot diggidi damn!
Multiple choice makes it too easy.
posted by c13 at 9:55 AM on March 6, 2005


it's better to be wrong than right. i wore the wrong thing to the fancy dress ball and a man on a flying sheep dropped an anvil on my head.
posted by beniamino at 10:02 AM on March 6, 2005


Metafilter: never dance a quarille unless you know the steps.
posted by drezdn at 10:14 AM on March 6, 2005


It seemed to me that the choices were worded in such a way as to make picking the wrong answer nearly impossible. The most difficult thing to do was to pick the right outfit, and even then there were strong situational clues.
posted by LiliaNic at 10:16 AM on March 6, 2005


Good stuff, many thanks. And so much cheaper than tickets to Spamalot
posted by IndigoJones at 10:18 AM on March 6, 2005


The most difficult thing to do was to pick the right outfit, and even then there were strong situational clues.

I had the opposite experience. The outfits to me were mostly a breeze (except the thing with the lace sleeves for the dinner party -- that really looked like mourning to me, and I didn't think it was appropriate. Maybe it wasn't actually black). But I thought my hubby was supposed to escort me into the dining room....
posted by Miko at 10:26 AM on March 6, 2005


My experience was much like Miko's, but I'm still the picture of politeness. Go me!
posted by deborah at 10:50 AM on March 6, 2005


Am reading 'The Diamond Age' at the mo, so quite serendipitous.
posted by asok at 11:00 AM on March 6, 2005


Anyone recognise the music played when outside the house before dinner?

Oh, nice post.
posted by Gyan at 11:30 AM on March 6, 2005


i like the audio samples from the characters the best...

"right right, fine."
posted by sourbrew at 12:16 PM on March 6, 2005


That was great! I am a picture of politeness as both sexes. I missed two questions: the one about what a lady should wear when hostessing her own party and what a man should wear to the gentlemen's club. I agree with LiliaNic that most of the answers were pretty easy to pick out using common sense.

I loved the chattering noises the characters made too. They sounded like little 19th century Sims.
posted by LeeJay at 12:22 PM on March 6, 2005


This was fun. It turns out I'm a better proper 19th century gentleman than lady... But mostly because I'm not too keen on talking to strangers on trains.
posted by taz at 12:36 PM on March 6, 2005


Fantastic post, that was so much fun. I am also a picture of politeness as both a man and a woman, even if I got a few wrong. I also thought my husband should escort me for dinner, and apparently asking a man to put his jacket over a puddle was taking advantage of his kindness and good nature. I just thought I shouldn't be showing those ankles.
posted by livii at 12:53 PM on March 6, 2005


I'm glad they didn't ask much about polite conversation, because I would have never guessed "ooo ooo boing shloing shloing."
posted by pracowity at 12:58 PM on March 6, 2005


I wish I purposefully put more wrong answers for the animations they give.
posted by artifarce at 1:41 PM on March 6, 2005


Is anyone not a picture of politeness? I'm starting to wonder if that's the only outcome.
posted by Miko at 3:01 PM on March 6, 2005


Is anyone not a picture of politeness?

Only if you work at it.

By the way, and since no one has mentioned it, there are other games available....
posted by IndigoJones at 3:43 PM on March 6, 2005


I love how one of the avatars constantly whistles the theme song to The Smurfs.
posted by Epenthesis at 4:03 PM on March 6, 2005


Is anyone not a picture of politeness?

Only if you work at it.

Even if you work to answer everything wrong, you still climb a ladder into the clouds and it refrains from implying that you may have failed to reach the heights.
posted by Jigsaw at 4:12 PM on March 6, 2005


I had this whole scathing retort to this post written out, and was ready to post it. But that was before I played the game. Having played, it occurs to me how rude my original post would have been, had I posted it. Instead, following the example of this game, I'd like to express my gratitude for the post with an appreciative phrase straight from the game itself:

Boing Boing, murmble gahumbfa burmble.

translation: [this is good]
posted by shmegegge at 4:38 PM on March 6, 2005


Charming!
posted by puddinghead at 5:02 PM on March 6, 2005


Dear Miss Lush,

I am most grateful for your worthy and educational post.

With thanks and best wishes,
ahem oh aa eh oh oooh,
posted by melissa may at 6:26 PM on March 6, 2005


Lots of fun; the most difficult part for me was the clothing. Much of their advice would still be good today.

There were some amusing double-entendres in the Ladies game, but I fear it would be impolite to call attention to them.
posted by TedW at 6:29 PM on March 6, 2005


I'm glad they didn't ask much about polite conversation, because I would have never guessed "ooo ooo boing shloing shloing."

Clearly you've never been to a dinner party at Don Martin's house.

I would be wanting in courtesy if I did not pay my compliments upon such a magnificent post.
posted by MrBadExample at 6:34 PM on March 6, 2005


I teach the ballroom stuff to students when we learn the waltz and other 19th century dances. I was thrown by the choice of dinner gown, though. A dinner gown is amazingly lowcut; I guess I needed more info about how old I was and where I lived!
posted by ancientgower at 6:49 PM on March 6, 2005


I got 971 - no mistakes as a gentleman, a couple as a lady.

I'm tempted to go through it and make all the wrong choices just for the fun of seeing what happens.
posted by orange swan at 5:41 AM on March 7, 2005


Was that George Plimpton who ran me over in the pony-cart after I picked a scandalously revealing frock for dinner?
posted by scratch at 6:36 AM on March 7, 2005


I only missed one as the Lady at the train station; it was the 'facilities' question.

Now, to prepare my long black high-waisted travel dress, as I'm actually going to be travelling by VIA Rail from Vancouver, BC to Niagara Falls, ON later this spring.

Glad I now know how to act on a Canadian train!
posted by spinifex23 at 11:10 AM on March 7, 2005


Oh, this is brilliant fun, thanks much!
posted by dejah420 at 8:54 PM on March 7, 2005


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