Museums have a few downsides. They can cost an arm and leg, they’re often packed to the brim with tourists, and stone-faced security guards never let you touch the art. Michelangelo’s David is a sight to behold, but not to be held, they say.
But if you have a virtual reality head set and a Steam Account you can skip the fees and the crowds, and literally embrace the art with a little imagination.
The VR Museum of Fine Art is a free-to-play simulation that celebrates high culture with a refreshingly low-brow approach to education. In the promotional video, users are encouraged to stroke digital replicas of ancient Greek statues, peer deep into the cracks on the Mona Lisa’s canvas, and carry a coffee cup around in the display rooms.
All sculptures and paintings depicted in the VR Museum of Fine Art are to scale.
The VR museum’s exhibit is a more limited than you’d find in MoMA, the Louvre, or Tate Modern. To date, the four rooms feature simulations of just 15 sculptures and two paintings — but the pieces represent cultures from around the world, including the Qin Dynasty’s Terra Cotta Army, the Great Buddha of Kamakura, Shiva the Lord of Dance, Lintel 25 of Yaxchilán in Mexico, and the A’a Pacific islander god figure. If the 17 high-fidelity simulations still doesn’t seem worth the free download, you may be convinced by the detailed plaques that accompany each piece.
The VR Museum of Fine Arts isn’t a particularly in-depth experience for now, but it is a great way to waste some time browsing and interacting with historical art like you’d never be able to in real life.