The Metropolitan Museum of Art & Verizon launch AR art discovery app in Roblox
Leveraging augmented reality (AR), Replica allows players to experience The Met’s expansive collection in a digital 3D world, replete with 37 collectible digital items.
Replica allows gamers to discover the Met's art collections in a new way / Credit: Verizon
Ever wondered what it might feel like to rock a head of vipers like Medusa? A new effort from The Metropolitan Museum of Art brings that experience into reality in global immersive platform Roblox.
The Met, in partnership with Verizon, has today launched a novel and user-friendly way for children and young adults to experience the collections of the largest museum in the United States: ‘Replica,’ an augmented reality (AR) app within Roblox.
Beginning today, users can download the Replica app for free on iOS and Android devices. By August 3, visitors to The Met can access Replica’s in-app map to guide them to different artworks throughout the museum – from a 14th-century Japanese suit of armor to the straw hat in Vincent van Gogh’s 1887 self-portrait. Users can then scan a work of art to both learn about its history and collect wearable, digital artworks for free for their Roblox avatars.
Users will also experience a virtual version of The Met’s iconic facade on New York City’s Fifth Avenue and other renowned spaces, like the Great Hall and Great Hall staircase.
According to the museum in a statement, each of the 37 wearable pieces within Replica is inspired by art from across The Met’s vast collection; they span Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887), Statuette of Anubis (332–30 BC), Perseus with the Head of Medusa and more.
“This groundbreaking app brings artwork from The Met’s illustrious collection into the virtual realm of Roblox, transforming the way visitors engage with art and crafting a captivating, fun, and truly unique journey through the Museum,” said Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French director and chief executive. “Replica is a testament to The Met’s ambitious exploration of educational initiatives that inspire playful connections with art in the Museum as well as in the digital realm.”
Replica builds on The Met and Verizon’s existing joint effort from 2021, ‘The Met Unframed,‘ another gamified art experience that featured over a dozen digitized galleries and nearly 50 artworks powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband.
“In partnership with The Met, we created Replica as an experience to connect people to art in a new and culturally relevant way,” said Kristin McHugh, senior vice-president of marketing and creative at Verizon. “From ‘The Met Unframed‘ to this exciting launch of Replica, our technology can help bridge gaming and art, creating new possibilities for art education.”
Multidisciplinary company Unit9 ideated and handled the creative, while Ode to Joy produced the campaign. Replica will be featured on The Met’s website as well as on social media using the hashtag #TheMetReplica.