Musemio is an immersive learning app that provides children with educational virtual reality (VR) games centered on culture and museum artifacts. In 2020, the company collaborated with the Hellenic Museum of IT to produce the Computer Paradeisos VR game and the Royal Museums Greenwich for the Moon Viewer appAnd now, the latest museum to collaborate with Musemio is the London Transport Museum.

What happened

London Transport Museum x Musemio

Available as an in-app purchase in the Musemio app, the Secret Shelter Challenge VR game invites young audiences on a gamified journey through the Clapham South deep-level shelter during World War II. Image: Musemio app

On January 20, the London Transport Museum and Musemio released Secret Shelter Challenge, a virtual reality (VR) game set in 1944, featuring characters living in the city’s Clapham South deep-level shelter. Available as an in-app purchase on the Musemio mobile application, the game can be played in VR or in 2D.

Players work alongside a 10-year-old protagonist, Margaret, to seek out a secret code hidden in the subterranean shelter, which was a refuge for London residents during World War II. To do so, players have to solve quizzes, riddles, and a scavenger hunt, while interacting with characters like Queen Mouse and Grumpy Teddy. Players navigate the game with an on-screen controller, and when certain checkpoints are reached, the Musemio robot mascot, Mio, will give instructions on their next steps.

The experience was drawn from the museum’s collection of historic material and in consultation with the game’s target audience. Image: London Transport Museum

Secret Shelter Challenge was developed by referencing historic photos and videos provided by the London Transport Museum’s Hidden London team. Together with the museum, Musemio also led a workshop with 12 children to learn what they’d most like to know about life in the temporary shelter, gathering responses that went into the design of Margaret’s backstory and character.

Why it matters

While the London Transport Museum’s Hidden London series does include a tour of the Clapham South deep-level shelter, the in-person event is only reserved for visitors aged 13 and above for safety purposes. But with Secret Shelter Challenge, younger children get to experience the site through an immersive VR game that blends a history lesson with entertainment value. It’s a combination that institutions like Boston’s Museum of Science have tapped, not just for the purposes of education and engagement, but to cultivate and grow the next generation of audiences.

What they said

“I’m so excited about our latest partnership with London Transport Museum. Our Musemio team provided the technological creativity and know-how and fused this with the magical history of the secret tunnels at Clapham South.” — Olga Kravchenko, Founder and CEO, Musemio

“Since meeting Musemio’s founders over two years ago, we’ve been impressed with their innovative approach to gameplay and mission to make culture more accessible to children, which aligns with our own aims. Musemio’s mission is a good fit with our own ambitions and we hope this is the start of ongoing collaboration to ignite children’s curiosity.” — Elizabeth McKay, Chief Operating Officer, London Transport Museum


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