We’re attending this year’s Dust or Magic conference on the best in kids’ education. The most telling statement so far? “Make the software and toys you would have been excited to receive as a child.”
Take a moment to think about what that really means. I’ve never been much of a fan of toys that are preprogrammed to act a certain way or say certainly things. That forces kids to play in the way that the grown-up creator thinks kids will want to play, but it rarely works that way. And more often than not with toys and games these days, it really is true that kids have more fun in the box that a present came wrapped in than the actual toy inside.
So how do I take inspiration to create the things the child in me would love?
To me, as a parent as well as someone who creates educational kids games, it encourages all of us who work in the industry to take off many of the lenses by which we view the creation of kid games and interactives. Don’t look at it from a marketing perspective. Don’t look at as an opportunity to try out some cool new software. Don’t look at it as a way to pay the rent. At its core, the perfect game should provide the wonder and the promise of creative, unadulterated (literally and figuratively), fun play.
Just pretend you’re a 6 year old kid who just got a present. What’s inside that’s more fun than playing with the box?