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The Metropolitan Museum of Art has had a long history of engaging young visitors, most particularly through #MetKids, its online platform that’s loaded with fun and educational programs to encourage learning and discovery. That same spirit of play and exploration now powers the museum’s latest kid-centric project, Bubble Guppies: Dive into The Met, its first-ever digital game created in partnership with Noggin, Nickelodeon’s interactive learning platform designed for kids aged between 2 and 7.

What happened

The Met x Noggin

The game takes young players on a virtual field trip through the Met, where they get to learn about diverse cultures through five objects. Image: Nickelodeon

Available on the Noggin app and the Met’s website, the interactive game Bubble Guppies: Dive into The Met takes its players on a virtual field trip to the Met, accompanied by the titular aquatic characters, drawn from Nickelodeon’s cartoon series of the same name. Narrated by one Mr. Grouper using child-friendly language, the tour sees players learning about diverse cultures through five objects from Japan, Ancient Egypt, France, India, and the Netherlands. While learning about the details and characteristics of each work, participants are encouraged to explore through interactive features like a scavenger hunt and exercise their creativity by making their own artwork within the game.

The history behind each of the game’s objects have been provided by the Met’s educators and curators, while the gameplay emerges from Noggin’s standards-based learning framework and represents the first release under its new early learning programs.

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Why it matters

With its first partnership with Noggin, the Met’s continued commitment to educating and entertaining its young audience remains evident. But additionally, the project cleverly leverages Nickelodeon’s IP characters to make an educational program enticing to its visitors, while making art and history fun for existing fans of the show and it characters. Such an IP-centered effort guarantees Bubble Guppies: Dive into The Met a built-in fanbase, with the potential for converting them into future museum visitors or members.

Besides tapping into each partner’s tech expertise, audience base, and educational frameworks, the collaboration at the center of this offering bears out developments in museum education, which, prompted by lockdowns, has trended toward digital learning that’s often gamified. Earlier projects such as London Transport Museum and Musemio’s Secret Shelter Challenge VR game and Museum of Science’s upcoming outing with Roblox similarly center education in a virtual realm, making learning newly compelling for a young audience of digital natives. 

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CultureTech, Museums & Cultural Institutions