Louvre visitors get Nintendo guide

Video game giant produce interactive guide for Paris museum

Part of travelling the world on your gap year is about absorbing culture. You might well spend more time in museums and galleries during your gap year than you will for the rest of your life.

Many cultural and historical sites offer audio guides to enhance the experience of navigating, but now the world’s most popular museum has launched an innovative, quirky and fun new way to explore its vast collection of artwork.

The Louvre in Paris, which attracts 8.9 million visitors a year, has teamed up with Nintendo to produce an interactive guide allowing art fans a cool retro way of learning more about its paintings and sculptures.

The new guide is housed within the Nintendo 3DS system and includes images and animation. The guide includes an interactive map that allows visitors to see exactly where they are in the museum. It also offers over 700 commentaries on the works of art, providing a fresh perspective on the Louvre’s collections and the story behind the building itself.

The versatile guide can be tailored to your individual tastes, and incorporates commentaries recorded by the museum’s curators and lecturers.

Herve Barbaret, Managing Director of the Louvre, said: “Through this partnership, we wanted to bring together heritage and the innovative world of interactive entertainment through a system many people are already familiar with.

“We feel that the Nintendo 3DS is perfect to achieve this goal. Nintendo has brought over 35 years of experience in games and game console development.

He added: “We believe that the new audio guide is a valuable tool that will make visiting the Louvre a more dynamic and rewarding experience, particularly for those that are not so familiar with a museum environment.”

Satoru Iwata, Global President at Nintendo, said: “Nintendo is honoured that the Nintendo 3DS system will be able to support and provide this exclusive audio guide to such a renowned and popular art museum.

“Nintendo's experience within the development of games that can be enjoyed by all, regardless of age and gender, has been utilised with the aim that visitors to the Louvre museum will have further enriched opportunities to experience the exhibits on offer."

The Nintendo 3DS museum guide is undoubtedly an interesting development in the world of art gallery guides, although the merit of a 3D representation of a sculpture in front of you that you can walk around is questionable.

Nintendo has not revealed whether or not they plan to roll out this technology at other museums, or whether they intend to develop the idea further; it might simply be a matter of time before you’ll be able to navigate the Tate Modern with a Game Boy or New York’s Museum of Modern Art with a SEGA Mega Drive Handheld device.

Would you use the Nintendo 3DS museum system? Do you ever use audio guides? What’s the best museum you have ever visited?

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