Why the MET Is Expanding Into the Metaverse With Roblox
Roblox users now have the opportunity to don digital versions of Van Gogh’s iconic straw hat for their avatars. Although these digital wearables may lack the same fashion appeal as the digital Dionysus bags found in the Gucci Garden experience of 2021, they make up for it with their cultural significance.
This collaboration between Roblox and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art involves the introduction of various wearables, including suits of armor, Medusa hair, and Egyptian Pharaoh masks. The Met has joined forces with the gaming platform to launch the augmented reality quest-based app called Replica, which connects to a Met experience within the Roblox metaverse. Created in partnership with Verizon, the app provides an interactive map that guides visitors to 37 selected physical artworks throughout the museum. Users can further explore these artworks by scanning them.
“We are always looking for new ways to engage with art and reach new audiences,” says Ken Weine, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at The Met. “With Replica, we utilized technology to connect with kids and young art enthusiasts in a space they are already engaged with.”
This collaboration transcends traditional museum experiences and offers a new dimension for art engagement. Scanning the physical artworks rewards visitors with digital wearables drawn from the elements of each artwork, adding them to their personal inventories on the Roblox platform. This virtual dimension provides access to art and clothing pieces that would otherwise be kept behind glass cases.
The Met’s Immersive Presence in Roblox
The Met Museum has established itself within Roblox by creating a virtual version of its Fifth Avenue facade and including interior spaces such as the Great Hall. Audiences can curate combinations of acquired items, showcasing them in museum-style display cases and capturing images of their avatars in photo booths with historical scenes or iconic artworks like “The Great Wave” by Katsushika Hokusai. According to Weine, this experience is unique because the real artwork is light-sensitive and rarely displayed to the public.
Similar to The Met’s collaboration with Roblox, The British Museum has partnered with The Sandbox Game to create its immersive space within the platform and offer a range of NFT digital collectibles.
This interactive digital presence enables people to engage with these works of art regardless of their geographical location, providing an inclusive experience for all. The Met worked closely with Verizon to select the featured works and ensure a strong, educational experience that reflects the breadth of the collection. During the pandemic, the museum created The Met Unframed, a limited-run augmented reality experience that allowed online visitors to explore the galleries digitally and unlock AR versions of artworks through games, thanks to Verizon technology.
The Met’s venture into the metaverse aligns with its Open Access initiative, which began in 2017, digitizing hundreds of thousands of artworks and making them accessible to the public via the museum’s website. This initiative has unlocked tremendous potential for new in-game building iterations.
Authenticity and Meaningful Engagement
The Met’s objective is not only to enter the metaverse but also to foster learning. Ken Weine emphasizes the importance of authenticity and meaningful engagement. The museum wants to leverage technology strategically to cater to its community and embrace it genuinely.
This collaboration between The Met and Roblox represents a significant step in leveraging technology to make art accessible to a broader audience and engage them in unique and immersive ways.
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Editor’s Notes: Uber Crypto News
When it comes to embracing technology and finding innovative ways to engage audiences, The Met’s collaboration with Roblox sets a shining example. By expanding into the metaverse, The Met has not only made its artworks more accessible but has also created an immersive experience for art enthusiasts of all ages. This collaboration demonstrates the power of technology in transforming traditional museum experiences and opens up new avenues for education and creativity.
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