Father and Son online game
Archaeology and video games
About the practice
The video game was created in collaboration with TuoMuseo, an international collective of artists and professionals in the art and gaming industry.
The museum's experts participated in building the game's content, starting with a briefing and then creating a narrative together. The game allows users to make choices and influence the ending, making it a dynamic storytelling experience.
To match the theme, the experts opted for 2D technology.
The game not only showcases the museum but also the city, emphasizing their connection and the museum's significance as a symbol of the city. To achieve this, watercolor paintings were used to study the city and its landmarks, and a unique soundtrack was developed specifically for the game.
About the institution
Father and Son is a video game available for free online, where the main character is a child who goes through different historical eras in Naples; the choices he makes also determine the development of the story in the game. The video game recreates 3 km of the real streets of Naples, and the player encounters regular characters on his journey through time who are connected to modern Naples.
The goal is to promote the museum to the public and present its contents not in a didactic way, but to show that archaeology can be fun and interesting for young people as well. In 2017, a new strategy was introduced to improve the museum's image and expand the development of its audience. This is being done through various methods and channels, and among this came the idea of creating a video game.
Interactivity, international, local
The video game, available as a mobile app for both Android and iOS, has achieved remarkable success with over 4 million downloads across 97 countries. Notably, 43% of the downloads originated from China, effectively reaching its target audience. Around 45% of the downloads were by users under 15 years old, while the remaining were mainly by users under 30.
To encourage in-person visits to the museum, the game incorporated geolocation-based features that allow users to unlock specific content while physically present at the museum. In 2020, this feature attracted 37,700 visitors to the museum.
Since the museum's inception, the target audience has consisted of an audience made up of young people, but not very young, and has always aspired to reach an international audience.
The museum is constantly updating the video game to avoid oudating and so that it can also be downloaded to the latest devices. The museum is also working on promotion and will soon launch a second version of the game, based on other scenarios, but always in Naples.
The updates also address realities and contemporary issues: the second version will also feature a female lead character.
To recreate her, it is necessary to work with the developer, as the content is very specific and requires expertise. Based on this experience, TuoMuseo has already implemented another video game, in cooperation with the MArTA museum in Taranto.
The museum coworked with TuoMuseo, a collective of technology experts who work in the art field, so the work with technology tools took place outside the museum.
The project was funded solely through internal resources.
Since 2017, the app has been available in Italian and English. Additional languages, including Chinese, Russian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, were added in November 2017. German and Arabic versions were developed in 2018.
In 2020, an app in Neapolitan dialect was introduced to strengthen the museum's ties to the city. More features are in the pipeline.
MANN - National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy
Good practice link
Piazza Museo 18/19, 80135 Naples
Contact person on good practice
Elisa Napolitano, museum education manager for teaching, research, promotion, and enhancement, email@example.com