We are well into the early stages of Web 3 now, the major hallmarks of which have been cryptocurrency, blockchains, NFTs, and lacklustre digital approximations of existent attractions. The steady churn of recreation in the digital realm for those who choose to live a slice (or a whole pie) of their life within it is a given. And while most of these endeavours ring of money-grubbing and artlessness, one can’t help but find some corny charm in a Roblox Met.
Roblox, a free-to-play creation-based game akin to Minecraft with a vast user base, has been around for a decade and a half now but truly began to pick up steam over the last few years. Its socialization and ease of access for creating games within the game have made it a unique tool for gamers and creatives across the spectrum despite its seemingly childish veneer. The Lego-like aesthetic of Roblox has attracted over 150 million users and appears to be holding strong.
And now a new collaboration with the game boasts a trip to see the works of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art without having to leave your laptop. This Roblox Met series comes through the museum’s new augmented reality app Replica, which allows visitors to scan works at the museum and transfer copies of them to their Roblox account. And while it may not be as revolutionary as director and chief executive Max Hollein may have you believe when he calls it “ 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,” it certainly does have a sweet charm to it.
When compared to the likes of Metaverse’s strange, dead mall energy and in-your-face capitalist hustle culture, it’s hard not to see this Roblox Met collaboration as something more positive. That said, Roblox certainly spearheads micro-transaction advertising towards a fanbase largely composed of children and youths. Let’s just hope they don’t roll out a Sotheby’s expansion next.