On the 14th May 2023 I visited the National Gallery in London. This is a review about the Roblox game (Keeper Council), the app (The Keeper of Paintings) and my visit (at The National Gallery).
1- What I enjoyed most about the Roblox game, the app and the visit and why:
Using the Roblox game The Keeper Council before the visit helps prepare for the visit so that was good to try as this game is very similar to the app used at the National Gallery.
Completing the entire trail using the app at the museum felt also great. It was good to have people at the museum who could help with locating the rooms and using the map on the app was a good way to see the entire collection.
Activities where I had to find a particular painting were great, and getting to see paintings by Monet and Van Gogh, I could recognise felt good. But also discovering new ones like Paul Cézanne and learning about different painting techniques.
2- What I enjoyed least about the Roblox game, the app and the visit and why:
Although I love Roblox I did not enjoy at first The Keeper of Council game a lot. The obby took too long to complete and I am used to do many of them. It was frustrating and I don’t see how a 7 year old can complete it at all. I played on both iPad and laptop, the game is addictive (ike any games) and although I found it hard to start with I still continue playing with it.
At the museum the Keeper of Paintings app activity timing (that could not be changed) was annoying and would delay the completion of the entire trail as I needed to wait for it to move on even if I had completed the activity.
It would have been more immersive if I could see myself in some paintings. One activity asked me to select a painting I would like to jump into and it would have been great to see myself inside that painting. The interactive part is very limited. Also at the museum the lady said it takes about 1hr to complete but even going as fast as one could it took me 2hrs so allow plenty of time with younger children.
3 - Would I recommend this to anybody:
Yes and no, although the app is fun a young child can bump easily into people using it on a phone so best to do this when it is not too crowded at the museum. I went on a Sunday so probably not the best day to use the app.
Also the majority of paintings are by white male artists so that’s not a very inclusive collection of paintings to view. I am 11 and the app is for 7-11 from my experience younger children 7-9 might enjoyed it most.
Another app more challenging might be better suited for children aged 9-11. The idea is good but the app and roblox game both need improvement to make them more interesting (for the app) and less challenging (for the game).