Murder at the Met: An American Art Mystery is a new web-based application (app) that guides users of smartphones and tablets through the galleries of American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to solve a murder mystery. The fictional plot transports players back to an evening gala in 1899 and revolves around the murder of beautiful Virginie Gautreau, who was immortalized by John Singer Sargent in the portrait Madame X, one of the Museum’s best-known paintings. Participants in the tour take on the role of detectives. By learning to look more closely at works of art—which serve as witnesses, weapons, and possible crime scenes—players piece together meaningful clues. The goal of the game is to determine the who, where, and how of the murder. Because the app provides three possible paths through the galleries, each having a different storyline and culprit, the game can be played repeatedly. The game offers players an engaging and innovative way to learn about objects in the New American Wing Galleries for Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts.
Murder at the Met is the first mobile detective game created by the Museum. A collaborative project that involved the Museum’s Departments of Education and Digital Media (content), Green Door Labs (gaming), and TourSphere LLC (development), the app is free and can be found on the Museum’s website www.metmuseum.org/madamexmystery.
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May 11, 2012