The Louvre Museum for Kids
The Louvre Museum for Kids, the first title of the Museums of the World for Kids series from The Voyager Co., is intended to introduce children age 5 and up to the collections of the Louvre and to the building itself. Since the program only uses 150 artworks, it’s fair to say that it’s a brief introduction to only a fraction of the museum’s holdings. The main menu gives you two choices: a Building Tour with History, and Works. The Tour is a cool three-minute movie that races you through the Louvre at breakneck speed, past some of the most famous pieces, such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Too bad it’s so quick and so short because this is the only section that places the objects in the context of the museum as a whole. The history section is presented in a simple text-based “open book” format, and glosses over the major incarnations of the Louvre from medieval fortress to museum. Works presents a random assortment of objects drawn from each of the different collections. Graphical, kid-friendly icons, complete with wacky sounds (you’ll want to turn them off, but you can’t), take you to a timeline, a virtual gallery (where you can check the size and scale of each object), a map of Europe, a zoom function, and a game section. Once you strip away all the bells and whistles, you realize that The Louvre Museum for Kids is a pretty empty place.
– November 1996