Why the MET Is Expanding Into the Metaverse With Roblox

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    Roblox users can now score a digital version of Van Gogh’s famous straw hat as an avatar. It may not be as fashionable as the digital Dionysus bag available to players of the 2021 Gucci Garden Experience, but the Van Gogh hat makes up for it as cultural currency.

    These new wearables, along with a digital suit of armor, Medusa hair, and an Egyptian Pharaoh mask, are part of a new collaboration between Roblox and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    The Met has partnered with Replica’s gaming platform, an augmented reality quest-based app (available for iOS and Android) linked to the Met experience within the Roblox metaverse. Developed in conjunction with technology partner Verizon, the app guides visitors through an interactive map to 37 curated physical artworks scattered throughout the museum. You can discover more by scanning the subject work.

    “We are always looking to reach new audiences and find new and creative ways to engage with the arts,” said Ken Wein, senior vice president of public affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Decryption. “and replicaTechnology has allowed us to approach areas where children and young art lovers are already interested. ”

    Users can access the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Roblox and explore virtual spaces inspired by the museum itself.Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art

    “it isIt transforms the way visitors engage with art and reshapes the entire museum journey. ” Kristin McHugh, senior vice president of marketing at Verizon, added. “Replica not only broadens the way people can interact with art, but it also attracts a whole new audience who are mobile-first and passionate about gaming. ”

    In addition to the app’s quest-based format, an element familiar to game natives is the fact that visitors to the museum are rewarded for their engagement.

    Scanning physical works such as a marble sphinx from 530 BC and a 16th-century Japanese helmet reveals by Antonio Canova The 18th-century sculpture “Perseus with the Head of Medusa” and of course Van Gogh’s 1887 “Self-Portrait” allows visitors to import digital wearables drawn from various elements into their inventory on the Roblox platform.

    The virtual dimension will allow “access to experiences that are difficult or impossible in the physical world,” said Rebecca Kanter, head of education at Roblox. Decryption. “People can touch and try on artworks and clothing that look like they were kept behind glass cases.”

    Alongside interior spaces such as the Great Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is set within Roblox through a virtual version of the Fifth Avenue façade. There, players create pairs of acquired items, place them in museum-style display cases, and display them in photo booths against the background of images such as historical scenes and Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s “The Great Wave.” , you can take a picture of your newly equipped avatar. . Weine says it’s a particularly unique experience because the real thing is so sensitive to light that it’s rarely shown to the public.

    Elsewhere, the British Museum recently announced a partnership with Sandbox Games to create its own immersive space within the platform alongside various NFT digital collectibles.

    This kind of interactive digital presence will allow people to work on the work wherever they are, regardless of whether they have the opportunity to visit the physical location of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wine said.

    To ensure that the project is rooted in a “strong and educational experience that speaks to the broad content of the collection,” the Metropolitan Museum of Art worked closely with Verizon to identify and select the featured works.

    During the pandemic, the museum has created a limited-run augmented reality experience, “The Met Unframed.”, There, Verizon technology enabled online visitors to digitally explore the gallery and play games to unlock AR versions of the artwork.

    This follows the open access initiative launched by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017, which saw hundreds of thousands of works digitized and made available to everyone through a website. According to Weine, this created “great potential for new iterations of in-game construction.”

    Just like fashion houses entering the metaverse, the goal is also to learn, he said, stressing that such moves must also be authentic and meaningful. “We want to adopt technology that makes sense for us and our community,” he concluded.

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