New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) has joined forces with the widely-recognized gaming platform, Roblox, to curate a virtual immersion tailored for its younger enthusiasts.
Through this alliance, Roblox enthusiasts can now accessorize their avatars with digital renditions of renowned artworks and relics, such as the much-celebrated straw hat by Van Gogh.
These digital accessories, paired with other coveted items like armored suits and Egyptian face masks, are up for grabs via the augmented reality, quest-driven app named Replica.
In collaboration with Verizon, Replica offers participants a captivating journey through The Met, leading them to 37 handpicked artworks dispersed within the museum.
Utilizing the app, visitors have the capability to scan these artworks, which in turn unveils digital wearables ready for transfer to their Roblox collections.
Ken Weine, The Met’s Senior Vice President of External Affairs, expressed in a recent discussion, “Through Replica, we’ve leveraged technology to connect with young art enthusiasts in a domain they’re already familiar with.”
The Met to Create its Digital Double in Sandbox
Beyond the quest-centric design of the app, this collaboration extends to a digital manifestation of The Met within Roblox itself.
Participants can wander through virtual renditions of iconic sections of the museum, such as its Fifth Avenue exterior and the majestic Great Hall.
Furthermore, users can channel their inner curator, assembling exhibitions by coupling the digital wearables they’ve collected and capturing images of their avatars set against historical scenes.
This venture by The Met into the digital universe is emblematic of a larger shift, with cultural institutions globally leaning into virtual engagements.
To cite another instance, The British Museum has ventured into a partnership with The Sandbox Game, curating a unique virtual space inside the platform, enriched by a collection of NFT digital artifacts.
Recently, Futureverse, a startup operating at the intersection of crypto technology and gaming, revealed its successful procurement of $54 million in Series A funding, geared towards bolstering its presence in the metaverse domain.
Yet, it’s essential to acknowledge the burgeoning skepticism surrounding the metaverse concept, which had been the talk of the tech town in the preceding years.
Such doubts are accentuated as some of the once-staunch advocates have started to recalibrate their ambitions in this area.
For instance, earlier this year, the entertainment behemoth, Disney, declared its decision to disband its metaverse division, a move intertwined with broader organizational downsizing affecting nearly 7,000 of its staff.
Similarly, Microsoft made the decision to wind down its Industrial Metaverse Core team within months of its inception. This project had been designed to foster metaverse utilization within industrial settings.