The marketers of the hit Kimbell Art Museum show Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection were savvy to create a new mobile game app to help promote the show: Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin, designed by HappyGiant LLC, is based on characters from Stan Sakai’s comics about a wandering samurai warrior (who also happens to be a bunny) named Yojimbo. Mobile games are notorious time-sucks for kids and adults alike, the kind of addictive diversion that often substitutes for more enriching community experiences like, say, historical exhibits at the Kimbell. The Usagi Yojimbo app (available in Apple and Android formats) can be downloaded for free through August 31 from the Kimbell website, so where’s the draw to the exhibit itself? Secret codes to acquire special armor and a bonus battle level for Yojimbo are offered only to those who actually attend Samurai. It’s an ingenious bait-and-switch –– offer the tykes some empty-calorie playground entertainment, hook them, then lure them in for kultchah. Other arts organizations should consider practicing this give-kids-drugs-then-addict-them-to-broccoli strategy.
Home Blotch Around Fort Worth Kimbell Releases “Yojimbo” Game App