The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store and BioShock have a lot in common. They both present the player with a fascinating and well-researched environment, full of artifacts from history and art, representing many different art styles, cultures and time periods. The way these objects are displayed and taught is very interesting, for example, the game uses well-known pieces of art to promote their propaganda of objectivism, which is to make you believe that your mind is the most powerful thing in the world. It makes your character’s power seem almost godlike.
The way the objects are displayed at the Met store is almost exactly the same as how they are displayed in Rapture. The Met Store has many large showcases near the entrance with beautiful pieces of jewelry, pottery and other historically significant objects on display so that people can walk by and see them easily (Gambino). BioShock also has many showcases with large pieces of artwork; even though they’re not always historically significant, it makes them more interesting by making players think about them (Gambino).
The Met store also has some interactive objects that help you get more out of visiting there. They have many touchable pieces on display so that players get a sense of all the textures that were used to make
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store is, by my count, the 8th stop on the “Pilgrimage through the Bioshock Universe,” and I have to admit that I was a bit concerned about being able to “see” this store. As an undergraduate I had a roommate who was obsessed with history and he would bore me endlessly with stories about visiting Colonial Williamsburg and how nothing ever really changes. Specifically, the replica stores in Colonial Williamsburg never really change anything because it’s too much work and if they do change something, it is only because of a specific financial reason.
Toys are always popular gift ideas for kids. Do you know that there are also toys for grown-ups? You’ll be stunned when you see the range of stuffs that you can find here! Well, one thing’s for sure: you’ll never be bored here at Met Store!
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Met Store does not appear at all like Colonial Williamsburg; however, it is so like Bioshock. The Bioshock video games have more in common with modern art than any other game has ever before had. Both the game and modern art rely on the imagination of the player/viewer rather than on graphics and technology.
My students got to be part of a study trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. This blog is my diary of our adventure.
I have been using the video game Bioshock: Infinite as an example in my English classes. I have my students play it along with me and they are fascinated with the story and particularly with the imagery that the designers created to tell the story.
The images that inspired this trip came from watching one of the documentaries on Ken Burns’s series The Civil War. In one scene, a mother is holding her dead young son, who has been shot by Union soldiers. The mother is standing in front of a large window overlooking a pastoral landscape. Her eyes are closed, she is crying and rocking back and forth, cradling her dead son in her arms. The pastoral landscape behind her reflects what she sees: a peaceful landscape, untouched by war—there are no bodies in this landscape. I paused the video at that moment to ask my students what they saw in the window behind this grieving woman…and all agreed that they saw an unharmed landscape…an idyllic setting…a place where life could go on as it always had.
Trying to get my students to see more than just “beautiful countryside
During my recent trip to the Met I noticed a similarity between the museum and the videogame BioShock. When I visited the Met, I was struck by how much of the art on display was for sale. Almost everything on display could be purchased for a price. The same held true with BioShock, which is set in 1960s America, before the government banned all forms of genetic manipulation.
In both cases, the art on display–whether created with genetic engineering or not–seemed to be made to serve some kind of commercial purpose. And it’s not just art that serves this function; almost every form of culture we can think of–including even science–seems to be used towards some end. My question is this: Are there any exceptions? If so, what are they? After all, even science isn’t just done for its own sake anymore; funding is dependent on demonstrating its economic or military usefulness. Does that mean that all intellectual activity is inherently commercialized? Is “pure” research an oxymoron?
I’m interested in these questions because I’m writing a book about them (the book will be a series of essays about aspects of the issue). So if you have any thoughts about this issue or know of any other examples that might
For the past few days I’ve been thinking about games and museums. As a graduate student in art history, I spend a lot of time visiting and studying art objects, but I also play video games. And while they are two very different types of entertainment experiences, there are a number of similarities between what I do in museums and what I do in the virtual world of BioShock.
The first time I played BioShock was about three years ago. It was a game that had come out earlier that year to a great deal of hype and critical acclaim, so after seeing it referenced in several articles and hearing my friends talk about it, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Like many first-time gamers, my initial impression was that this was not an activity for me–I hated it. The underwater world of Rapture struck me as claustrophobic and confusing, almost intimidating in its level of detail. The game’s tagline “Would you kill innocent people to survive?” seemed more like an accusation than a question.
But as I learned more about the game–from reading interviews with its developers (Ken Levine and Shawn Robertson) as well as other critics–I realized that my initial reaction had less to do with the game itself than with the
The Met Store offers a unique shopping experience. The store carries a full line of museum-quality and educational products as well as gifts for all ages, visitors and members alike.
The Museum’s store is operated by the Met’s retail affiliate, Hudson’s Bay Company and is located on the ground level of the Museum in the Anna Wintour Costume Center. It is open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and until 9:00 PM on Wednesday evenings year round (closed only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve).
Each of the five “tourists” was asked to complete a questionnaire, which included questions about their reasons for visiting the museum store, as well as an open-ended question requesting suggestions for improving the store’s merchandise. One of the five “visitors” actually was an undercover museum staff member who was trained in conducting research regarding visitor behavior and attitudes.
The Museum Store Interviewees were divided into two groups: Group 1 consisted of four females and one male, ages 25-55, who were students of Fashion Merchandising enrolled at a local college; Group 2 included one female, age 30-40, who works in fashion design and is involved with her school’s fashion program; and one male, age 36-45, who is a software developer and is also interested in art history. The third “visitor” was a staff member employed by the Met; this individual participated to gather firsthand information on customer service issues.*
All five participants provided information about their previous experiences at museum stores. Four subjects had visited the Met store previously but only two indicated that they made regular visits to other museum stores. Three subjects indicated that they “rarely” or “never” visit museum stores or gift shops at art museums. The remaining two subjects did not offer an opinion