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Barnes Art Foundation Offers Free Virtual Art Game App For Kids

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- You now can go "hands on" with some of the Barnes Foundation's legendary artworks -- without getting a stern warning (or worse) from a security guard.

It's thanks to a new iPad app, developed with a team from Drexel University.  And it's designed with kids in mind.

"It's fun," said 13-year-old Zack (at left in top photo) as he used the app to move through the Barnes galleries and jump, via his custom avatar, into a virtual copy of Giorgio de Chirico's The Arrival.

"Trying to make it higher, and make it fit in place," he explained.


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(A screenshot from the Barnes Foundation's "Keys to the Collection" app. Image provided)


You don't even have to be at the Barnes to use the free "Keys to the Collection" app, available for Apple devices.

"We want to reach children all over the world, and what better way to do it than to engage them in game-based learning," says Barnes acting director Peg Zminda.  She says players explore the museum while winning virtual awards for inspecting and fixing paintings and solving puzzles.

"And we can keep between all of us adults here today that it's actually educational as well," she added with a smile.


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