Welcome back to FableVision's Weekly Click. This week we're going to be looking at what the rise of digital publishing means for young readers, changing marketing demographics in the technology sector, the four kinds of fun in good games, and we catch up with our friend Noah Z. Jones. Featured Article
If you were with us last week, you saw that we talked about the effect interactive apps have on a child's vocabulary. The results, while not outstanding, were encouraging. Children receive a boost in vocabulary when using apps tailored to education and learning. This week, The Huffington Post has a great (and lengthy) article that details a study done to see how children and their guardians engaged with print versus electronic books.
Much like last week, the results are encouraging. Children and adults engage about an equal amount when reading print books, basic e-books and their "enhanced" counterparts. The study does find, however, that children tend to recall fewer narrative details from enhanced e-books than with their print and basic counterparts. While enhanced e-books are a fun diversion, if parents hope to squeeze any educational benefit from their reading sessions, they should choose e-books without interactive content. The post goes into great detail, so we'd encourage everyone to click through and read it when you get the chance.
For creators the take away here should not be "Do Not Make E-Books", but rather to understand how children (and adults) interact with a story to reduce impediments to their understanding. Although, it makes us wonder how interactive e-books on STEM subjects compare to their dead-tree counterparts? Interactive activities, lessons and experiments seem like they would go a long way helping kids understand difficult subjects like physics and calculous.
While we're on the topic, here's a great list of FREE e-books for children. Not all of them are classics and some are kind of unsuitable for 'modern' children (ironic), but the list is well worth a look! There are lots of formats to choose from that will work on just about any e-reader.
If you don't happen to fall into the "18-35 year old Male" demographic, you may feel a little left out when it comes to tech companies catering to your interests. You wouldn't be wrong. For a long time that demographic has been the most coveted target audience. Men have been seen as the money-makers and trend-setters, especially in the world of technology. But that looks like that's about to change. According to a new poll, women now lead in almost every category of tech adoption. Hopefully, this will signal a sea-change not only in how we advertise tech (which the article notes has been woefully sexist for some time) but in how the industry regards women in general. We're starting to think that the "Rise of the Brogrammer" has been overstated.
Speaking of women in technology, XeoDesign's Nicole Lazzaro has outlined the four keys to creating games that captivate and hold gamers' attentions. Those four keys are: Hard Fun, Easy Fun, Serious Fun and People Fun. XeoDesign has designed an app around these four key elements called Tilt, and it's available in the app store now. It's interesting to think that great games actually cycle through all four of these key elements and how each of them corresponds to a different element of play. We love the way these ideas make us think about games, gaming and play and look forward to integrating these concepts into our own design process.
We come at last to our old friend Noah Z. Jones. Not long ago Cartoon Network picked up a SECOND show from him: Almost Naked Animals (the first being Disney's Fish Hooks), based on the blog of the same name. Now it looks like ANA is going to have a series of games adapted from it. One will be an interactive online game where players run a hotel as characters from the series. Two unnamed mobile games are planned for release later this year. While details are a little scarce, we're excited to get our hands on these games! Lots of us over here are addicted to Tiny Towers, so it's only a matter of time before we're clicking around our own hotels as tiny, pixelized, almost naked animals.
If you can't wait, here are some fun games already up on their site!