Art goes to video games

Museum of Art in the game Animal Crossing New Horizons

In order to educate a new generation of art institution collectors, they are increasingly participating in the entertainment format beloved by millennials.

While the art market is losing millions and billions of dollars due to the consequences of the coronavirus, art institutions of various formats are investing money in developing relationships with new generations of future collectors and art market participants. In order to attract millennials and representatives of the younger Generation Z to the market, representatives of the world of art and the gaming industry have been increasingly uniting lately.

And while museums and galleries remain inaccessible or work in limited access for the public, virtual exhibition venues and individual works of art are increasingly appearing in the space of popular video games.

For example, users of the popular Fortnite game have recently had the opportunity to visit the virtual factory- -a digital copy of the exhibition space, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas. It is physically building in Manchester now.

The project, developed by the Manchester International Arts Festival, with a budget of £ 110 million, will include the work of contemporary artists. Fortnite players can see the works intended for display at the factory and selected by the curator LaTurbo Avedon, in the specially created Fortnite Creative gaming location. Here they can either perform special tasks or take a tour of the virtual building at LaTurbo using Twitch’s online streaming service.

Launched in 2018, Occupy White Walls allows players to decorate the walls of their gaming spaces with one of the 7,000 available works of art. During isolation, the project has already gained 50 thousand users, and this number continues to grow.

In parallel with the development and launch of virtual tours, some art institutions, including the world’s largest museums, began to recreate their main masterpieces in the space of one of the most popular games of recent months – Animal Crossing New Horizons, presented by the Nintendo Switch platform. So, the Getty Center created the whole Animal Crossing Art Generator application, which allows players to easily turn any available item from their collection into a template that can then be used to create this item in the game. The Metropolitan Museum went even further by publishing QR codes with templates for more than 406 thousand items from its collection for the same purposes, and thus providing players with the opportunity to create their own variations of the museum based on their individual preferences.

Recently it became known about another major collaboration. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, together with LEGO, has released a series of LEGO ART designers, with which anyone can create a physical copy of Warhol’s most popular works from several thousand details – for example, the famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe.


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