Do You Know What Your Kids Are Playing?

Do You Know What Your Kids Are Playing?

Kids and video games go hand in hand. Especially in today’s world of persistent technology with smartphones, computers, game consoles, and even TVs being capable of providing gaming experiences. However, it is important for parents to not just know what games their kids might be playing, but also know what kind of experience that game is providing. Beyond this, games actually present an excellent opportunity for family experiences and being more involved in your child’s life. Some companies particularly excel at providing these experiences in new ways.

Video games are everywhere thanks to the overabundance of advanced technology throughout the developed world. Game consoles may be the first that comes to mind thanks to their heavy advertising and popularity, but even a number of smart TVs today provide access to games – sometimes, even in hotel rooms with a console like controller and all.  Computers have always been a major platform for games as well, and just about everyone has a computer of some kind in their homes. But today, almost everyone has a powerful computer right in their pocket, their smart phone! The smart phone market for games has grown rapidly and is now one of the largest markets for games. With all these platforms for games, you can imagine there is a huge variety of games in the market. From cute, family friendly content perfect for kids of all ages to brutally violent games full of adult themes that are really meant only to be played by adults. This landscape can be hard to navigate for the uninitiated, but it must be done by parents to understand what kind of games they are letting their children play.

So how do you approach this problem? Especially if you’re not a gamer yourself, it can be often be difficult to tell the difference between a good title for kids and something a little too mature. Luckily, Mortal Kombat inspired the creation of the ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board), and their system of classifying games into a number of categories. The ESRB has 5 main categories for games: E for Everyone, E10+ for Everyone 10 or older, T for Teen (13 or older), M for Mature (17 or older), and AO for Adults Only (18 or older). This is an easy quick way to get the ballpark of how appropriate a game may be. Often, they also list why they received the rating they did as well, so reading these details can help clarify what kind of game it is and how appropriate it may or may not be. I would also recommend watching videos of the game online. Trailers, reviews, and gameplay videos will all give you great insight into exactly the kind of experience a game provides, so you can decide if it’s right for your child. These videos are easily found by searching the title of the game from any smartphone, so if your kid just needs that game right now, you can take a minute to be sure this is something they can have. Doing your research not only lets you know what’s appropriate, but it’s also the first step into being more involved with your children through their play time.

Choosing the right games for your kids is a great opportunity to connect with them about something they really care about. Showing that you care too, that you don’t just dismiss it as silly, but show real interest in the game and playing it helps your kids feel more comfortable around you, and like you understand them and their wants and needs more. You can feel more like a peer and close the gap of age just a little by showing that you share a real and genuine interest in what your child is doing, especially their games. You’ll learn more about your kids and what they like, and you can use that to find great family and multiplayer games you can pay together with your child. There is a wide variety of multiplayer family friendly games that can get everyone involved. These make for fun and engaging family time that everyone will love. Your kids will look forward to family night, or however you get your family time in, more than ever when you’ve got the whole family playing their favorite games. There are plenty of creators out there ready to provide this experience.

The elephant in the room of the family gaming space is obviously Nintendo. They have been a staple of kid and family friendly games since the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) hit the United States in the 1980s. They certainly have a wide variety of traditional titles available. But you might want to look for something a little different, and a little new. A lot of companies are capitalizing on modern technology in new and exciting ways that are perfect for these kinds of shared gaming experience with your children while also exposing them to some of the most fascinating cutting edge technology, like augmented reality (AR). One such company is Playper, the creators of Kung Fu Boogie, the AR dance battle game. They are leveraging AR technology to create a new, unique, and exciting experience that can easily be shared with friends and family in a variety of ways, from play in the physical world – to play in the AR-enhanced mobile game. Companies like Playper are pioneering new ways of play, so go, do your research, and make sure you know exactly what your kids are playing today.


Meet the Characters of Kung Fu Boogie

Meet the Characters of Kung Fu Boogie

Kung Fu Boogie is an augmented reality dance battle game for kids. Using paper crafted characters, this game is something really special that bridges the gap of physical and digital play. It does so with super fun, exciting gameplay. Also, it accomplishes this with an exciting cast of unique characters. Here’s a profile on each character, who will you choose to boogie with?

Chuck Lee

Chuck Lee leaps into the scene! He is the true Kung Fu Master, and the godfather of Kung Fu Boogie. Can you take on the master? Or will you remain the student?


Pinball may look like a little girl, but don’t underestimate her! Her giggly, shy exterior hides her incomparable Kung Fu skills! Be ready, her moves can surprise any opponent!


Watch out for the ladies man, programmed to dance, Modus! As a robot, Modus can pull off moves no one else can, like sending his arms rocketing around! Modus doesn’t just DO the robot, he IS the robot!


Majesta is little more than a mystery to her opponents. Rumors say she is actually a ghost and has a power arm that can’t be beat. But it’s no rumor that her Kung Fu is masterful!


Alchemy floats speechless towards the dance floor. She moves to the beat and her dance creates magic, throwing energy and fire at you. Can your Kung Fu dance defeat her?

Rico Max

Prepare to be amazed by how light on his feet this burly bouncer by night and landlord by day truly is. Rico’s a hard working dancer who is proud of his strong latin heritage.


Aura isn’t afraid to let you know what she thinks. Prepare for funky funny taunts! “That’s right, suga’!” She’ll wow you with her funky soul train moves, so bring your best dance!


LP’s clumsiness doesn’t stop him from throwing his weight around! Prepare for the power of a big man’s clumsy dance, as LP stumbles his way to dance glory!

Jet Farnum

Jet Farnum is what you get when Evel Knievel knows Kung Fu! This macho man is positive he’ll be the champ! Prove him wrong and show you’re the daredevil of dance moves!

Cedric Ji

Cedric Ji’s sharp moves come flying at you from his lanky arms and legs. You’ll be stunned by his acrobatic moves as he flips and spins his way into the halls of dance legend!

What Makes Games Fun?

What Makes Games Fun?

Such a simple question can be answered in a multitude of ways. Everyone has their own opinions on what is fun, it is an inherently subjective answer. I believe there are several major components that contribute to the fun of a game. Characters drive fun by connecting us with the game in personal ways. Mechanics play a key role in keeping the player interested. The strategy of a game keeps us thinking about it long after we play. The world the game creates inspires us to explore and imagine. All these aspects come together to make games like Kung Fu Boogie truly fun.

Characters are a perfect place to start when discussing fun. Not only are they major drivers of our fun, but they are often the first major connection we make with a game. Gamers love to see parts of themselves in the characters they play, and it increases their enjoyment of the game as a whole. It’s important for developers to keep this in mind when designing their games. People want to see themselves represented in various ways throughout the game but especially connect with playable characters. Kung Fu Boogie is a great example of capitalizing on this principle. It has a wide roster of characters so anyone can find someone to connect with. Characters alone don’t make a game fun, other aspects like mechanics are important too.

Mechanics is basically just a fancy way of saying gameplay. Mechanics are the ways in which your character can actually interact with the game world and other characters. The way they jump, move, perform special combos, or really anything that they do. You might also refer to this as your “controls.” These are important in a variety of ways. They need to be accurate, or as some gamers refer to it, “tight” controls so that when you press a button your character does what’s expected. If you push jump and the jump is delayed or doesn’t jump as high as usual or whatever it might be that you end up creating frustration instead of fun. Mechanics don’t have to be complicated, they just have to work well. Kung Fu Boogie does this excellently with simple mechanics for picking your moves and animations that match your expected dance perfectly. Nice smooth controls keep the interaction light and fun. Mechanics are just the how you do things, but what about how you win?

Winning at the game is obviously a leading cause of fun and strategy is how you win. Strategy is important to a game because if a game’s strategy is too simple it can be boring, and if it’s too complicated it can be frustrating. Finding that sweet spot is no easy task. A lot of developers like to work off the rule “easy to learn, tough to master.” This idea encompasses creating gameplay where strategies are easy enough to come up with, you know what you need to accomplish and how to do it, but difficult to pull off properly. Tic Tac Toe is a great example of this. It’s easy to know you need three in a row and the many ways of making three in a row, but in practice with an opponent achieving that goal is never quite so simple. Kung Fu Boogie does this very well with gameplay using simple concepts that require good strategy to achieve victory. There is one more piece to the fun puzzle.

The world that all of this exists within is a major piece of how much fun we have with a game. We have characters and mechanics, strategy and gameplay, but as in all other forms of media, setting is essential. The world encompasses the what, when, where, and sometimes why of a game. It has been shown time and time again that immersive worlds and/or worlds within or closely related to our own are very compelling and fun. They are places we want to explore and interact with in new ways. Kung Fu Boogie creates a world of backstory and setting through its character backgrounds and interactions. It also brings the main action of the game to life in your own real world using augmented reality technology. This approach allows Kung Fu Boogie to capitalize on both the appeal of a unique and interesting world and the appeal of interacting with our own world in new ways. In the end, characters, mechanics, strategy, and world come together to create real and compelling fun for all gamers.

Augmented Reality Level Design

Augmented Reality Level Design

Level design takes on whole new aspects when you apply it to augmented reality(AR) games. Often level design principles are overlooked when creating AR games. This leads to games that don’t really utilize the technology to its fullest. Level design in an AR game is inarguably fundamentally different from that of a traditional game. This does not mean the concept should be abandoned. The future will be paved by those who utilize this technology to its fullest.

The average game designer might not see level design as a major concern for an augmented reality game. Essentially, with augmented reality you are using the actual world around you as the level. A developer might think of just their digital play space as the level they have to design. However, it is important to not take for granted the idea of augmented reality. Level design shouldn’t just think of the digital space with the physical space as background. It should find ways to make things in both the physical and digital space relate back to the game. One should consider how the game can interact with the environment, as well as how the environment could affect the game. Without this consideration, you end up with games that fall short in many ways.

Augmented reality is a powerful and unique technology. The fact that it is so new in the marketplace inevitably leads to underutilization of this amazing advancement. Even the most popular games in the genre don’t even seem to come close to making full use of the possibilities. Pokémon GO is the perfect example of one such title. It may be the most well-known augmented reality game yet released. It is hugely successful with a wide audience, but the actual augmented reality aspects of the game are extremely limited. It only comes in two major ways. The first is when you actually try to catch a Pokémon and the game uses your camera to place the Pokémon in the room for you to find. However, most players of the game will quickly tell you that your best option is to shut off the AR component, making the Pokémon appear in the middle of the screen every time, and making the game significantly easier. Why incorporate the surrounding environment if there is incentive to just turn off the feature to make the game easier? This is definitely a waste of otherwise fascinating technology.

The second application of AR in Pokémon GO creates a whole other problem – a problem that Harry Potter: Wizards Unite suffers from as well. This is the location-based aspect of the game. Something that is ranted and raved about by everyone who plays this game – at least, for the first month or two. Then it becomes a huge deterrent to future gameplay and causes users to flee the game. Sure, it’s neat that if I go near the local power station more electric Pokémon show up, but do I really want to go make that trek or hang out at the power station? The amount of gameplay one can experience conveniently is extremely limited, and the gate to more is worse than a monetary cost, or even being able to unlock something through earning an in-game currency. The gate is time and effort, something we have precious little of to be wasting it wandering around looking for Pokémon or dementors. So, what should game companies be doing?

The answer to that isn’t simple by any means. I can’t hand you the golden ticket of perfect AR design. What I can say is that this space is fundamentally new and different from any other type of game space. Exploring augmented reality and finding the best ways to utilize its vast potential is up to all the amazing developers in the world. They will find countless new and unique ways to capitalize on AR, to integrate the real and the digital to make a truly compelling space. One such company on the forefront of implanting AR in its games is Playper.

Dedicated to finding new ways for kids to play, Playper is creating AR powered products that incorporate paper toys and the physical world in great ways.  Their current project, Kung Fu Boogie, takes a physical 3D paper folded toy and brings it to life in a fun AR dance battle game for kids. Start in the physical world by folding together your character and creating a physical toy to play with. Then move into the digital world and bring them to life to dance their hearts out! Kids love being able to move between physical and digital play using the same characters and bridging any gaps with their own imagination. In the game, you have a dance floor that appears from any surface you choose, and your own paper creations come to life as your playable character. This near seamless integration of physical and digital play shows off some of the potential AR games have when you keep the tech in mind while designing levels. It sure makes me want to Battle to the Boogie!

Compelling Characters Matter

Compelling Characters Matter

Compelling characters make for compelling games. We have seen this time and time again throughout the history of games. Compelling characters can be created in a number of different ways. No matter how unique games become, those with compelling characters continue to rise to the top. Modern developers need to keep these principles in mind to be successful. Consumers and creators alike can be driven by compelling characters. In the end, these efforts create an interesting future for the industry everyone will be excited to see.

Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Mortal Kombat, Doom, Tomb Raider, Ratchet and Clank, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Final Fantasy VII. These are all massive hits and incredibly iconic games. But what do they all have in common? They all star incredible compelling characters. Each made compelling in their own unique ways, these characters stick in our minds and helps drive our interest in the games they are a part of. Some are incredibly simple and some are deep and complicated, but we are naturally compelled to explore all of their stories.

The range from Pac-Man to Lara Croft as characters is incredibly large. From their first title these characters are approached, presented, and enjoyed in totally different ways. Pac-Man is about as simple as it comes as a character. Starting out as more or less a yellow circle with a wedge missing, Pac-Man has grown into a symbol of gaming and gaming history – a character the world might never forget, but yet is so essentially simple became compelling through simple imagery and fun gameplay. On the other hand, Lara Croft is a deep, complicated character like you would expect to see in a movie. From the get go you get background on her life, defining moments and motivations, and you feel like you know and connect with this person you are controlling. It is undeniable that both of these characters are compelling and even grew into pop culture icons. This illustrates the wide variety of methods that can be used to achieve a compelling character. And these characters cause their titles to rise to the top.

Modern games definitely benefit from compelling characters. All the top titles these days have compelling characters presented in a variety of ways. From faceless, speechless protagonists defined by the player’s actions to entire casts of characters with detailed backstories and relationships with one another, as in fighting games like Mortal Kombat. In the first case, we get to sort of create the character ourselves, making decisions for them based on the character we want to create. The Fallout series is a great example of this, though you do get to create your face, so you’re not really faceless, but every play through is different because you get to change your own strengths, weaknesses, and personality. This opens up the character to become compelling through the player’s choices. Instead of one character you hope people connect with, you have a character created by the player, so it has a high chance of compelling connection. The Fallout series has become one of the most popular franchises in history using this formula. Mortal Kombat may be well known as the king of video game violence, and the cause for the creation of the ESRB, but it’s place in pop culture history is definitely solidified by its unique and compelling characters. The iconic Scorpion and Sub-Zero ninja characters are beloved and instantly recognizable.

In today’s highly competitive video game industry it is important to keep these characters in mind when creating a new game. Developers must seek to create characters that are compelling in order to stand out in a sea of unique and interesting characters. The nice thing is, this is super fun! Developers can have a blast creating these unique characters, exploring their motivations and details. It’s almost the same joy that players get from exploring these characters. Revealing their history and creating their future is a driving force for large portions of the gaming community. These characters are so compelling they become motivation: motivation to developers to continue creating more unique and nuanced characters and motivation for players to continue exploring the depths of unique digital characters.

Modern games, like the AR dance battle game Kung Fu Boogie, are using these principles to create the games of the future. Like any good competitive game, Kung Fu Boogie has a whole roster of unique characters (see title image) with varying backgrounds and unique elements. For example – Chuck Lee is Kung Fu Boogie’s main protagonist (the game’s Mario if you will) – he’s Chuck Norris meets Bruce Lee – the master teacher, the guy who started it all, with perfect, traditional kung-fu style, he is the godfather of Kung Fu boogie. Pinball may look like a young girl on the outside and come across as shy and giggly, but she surprises her opponents, who misjudge this book by its cover – don’t underestimate her or you’ll be sorry! Jett Farnum is a macho daredevil similar to Evel Knievel, Aura has funky moves straight out of 70s soul train, Rico Max is the superintendent of the apartment complex where the other characters live and club bouncer by night – he’s big and lumbery but surprisingly light on his feet with twinkle-toe moves! All these compelling characters come together to create an exciting game for kids of all ages. I can’t wait to meet all the new characters, how about you?

The World of Connected Play

The World of Connected Play

Connected play is a big term in the toy industry today, and even in a number of industries targeted towards younger audiences. This type of play exists as a result of our technology driven world. Kids today are looking for a new kind of experience when they play, and it is important to provide them that experience to be successful. Some of the biggest brands have embraced this concept and are pushing connected play like never before. The biggest innovations are coming from startups as they recognize and adapt to this new form of play. Looking forward connected play is an exciting landscape ready to be explored by creators and consumers alike.

So, what is connected play? Connected play is the elegant marriage of physical and digital interaction. It uses the latest in technology to bring physical play into the digital world and vice versa. Like bringing your toys to life in an app so you can interact with them in the digital space. Or creating a physical toy of a digital character so you can play with them in the physical space. The ‘connected’ part of connected play is connecting play between mediums and technologies to create new, exciting ways for consumers to interact with a company’s products. But why is this the latest trend in play?

This trend is largely the result of the current state of society. It is a logical end result of our creation, adoption, and even obsession, with technology. Not that it’s a bad thing to have created all the wonders that technology brings to a world. Just that it has inherently changed society and the world we live in. Our children are growing up in an ever more connected world constantly immersed in a wide variety of technology. It only makes sense that they would want to interact with their favorite toys and characters across these technologies in a number of ways.

They want to use virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), near field communication (NFC), internet of things (IoT), social media, and many more technologies to play in ways we never previously imagined. These technologies can make imaginary worlds more vivid and real and help their favorite toys feel like they can be part of their lives in many ways. Today’s companies and brands must embrace these technologies. These children are just the first wave of a future of connected play. We are already seeing countless top brands and new companies embracing these ideas.

Leaders in the toy and entertainment industries are already investing heavily in these technologies. LEGO, Hasbro, and Nintendo are just a few of the most recognizable names in this space. They are finding new ways of leveraging technology to create more interactive and immersive playspaces. LEGO has products using IoT, AR, social, and even robotics. Hasbro uses NFC, AR, and IoT as well.  Nintendo has created physical toys called amiibos that use NFC to trigger events within a video game. These popular brands are already utilizing these technologies in fascinating ways. But the future may truly come from entrepreneurs and small business.

New players in the game of connected play are emerging constantly. They are finding unique new ways of bringing physical toys and digital games and apps together with amazing results. Osmo has made a name for itself using an app for tablets to bring various creations of a child to life. Their tech is simple, but powerful and creates a fantastic connected play experience. Another great new company is Playper (think Play + Paper) who is coming up with unique ways of allowing children to combine crafting their own paper toys and playing games or interacting with them in a digital space using AR. One of their first products currently in development is Kung Fu Boogie, which brings a paper folded toy to life in a 70s Kung Fu themed dance battle game. This space of connected play creates a lot of exciting potential for the future.

Companies are excited. Kids are excited. Everyone should be excited at the prospects these technologies bring to the world just in terms of entertainment and play. Let alone the massive impact these technologies can have at solving large, practical problems. Just looking at the play side of things, we are witnessing the birth of a new era of entertainment. One in which our favorites characters and worlds can feel so much more like we are truly a part of them. Brands and companies are fascinated by the new ways they can interact with their consumers. Consumers are fascinated by the amazing worlds and play spaces these companies are creating. We should be excited and fascinated, because the world of connected play is a future anyone would love to be a part of.

The Benefits of Multisensory Experience

The Benefits of Multisensory Experience

Our world is filled with a variety of things that stimulate various senses in various ways. As a result, it is important for people, especially young children, to learn how to interact with the world using all their senses. Having multisensory experience has some serious benefits for anyone who experiences them. Even more so, people with cognitive and/or physical impairments can see an even wider array of benefits. Integrating these experiences into our lives and the lives of our children will only help strengthen our means of navigating the world. Kung Fu Boogie provides this type of experience in a fun way the whole family can enjoy.

It is no mystery that our world is a multisensory place. It is filled with sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. In order to go about our day and interact with the world we must use all of our senses, but we must also use them all at once. We take in sights, sounds, and smells and mesh them together to identify things and how we can interact with them. Young children learn this naturally as they age, and exposure to these kinds of environments is the only way they can learn how to deal with them. Learning is a key factor here.

The biggest benefit of multisensory experience for everyone is the intertwined concepts of learning and memory. Some studies have shown direct benefits to learning and retaining new information through multisensory approaches. They talk about how our memories, especially our strongest ones, are tied into all the things we experience at that time. For example, when you remember your grandmother you may remember what she looked like, but you also think of smells like her cooking or the smell of her house. You remember the way it felt to hug her, and how good her pie tasted. You remember the sound of her voice. Learning and memory are so closely tied together, you could almost argue learning is creating memories, just for a specific benefit or end goal. Then it becomes clear that multisensory experience enhances memory and learning. If you can associate a concept with a sight, touch, and sound it is much stronger than only having one of those factors. As you add more senses you strengthen the memory and learning potential. While this is a huge benefit, those with a variety of disabilities see even more benefits.

The benefits of multisensory environments for the cognitively and/or physically impaired are so numerous it would be unreasonable for me to try and explain them all. The Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation has done a great job of summing up the benefits on their site, so here is their list of benefits:

  • Increase concentration and focus attention
  • Develop or reactivate senses of hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste
  • Heighten awareness and improve alertness
  • Improve coordination and motor development
  • Promote cognitive development by increased brain function
  • Lead participants to explore their environment
  • Provide security
  • Be an unrestrained atmosphere where participants feel able to enjoy themselves.
  • Improve creativity
  • Stimulate the sensory building blocks
  • Develop of a sense of cause and effect
  • Develop language – more vocalization
  • Promote social interactions
  • Promote mental and physical relaxation – Stress levels drop dramatically
  • Result in more calmness and lower aggressive behaviors
  • Increase opportunity for choice and self-determination
  • Improve communication and sharing
  • Lead to non-responsive patients becoming communicative
  • Provide relief from pain and painful physiotherapy

Beyond all this it also makes participants happier and allows them to have fun.

Crafting experiences like this involve sight and touch.

Obviously, we would want to encourage these experiences both with ourselves and especially with our children. How do we get our children into these kinds of environments without them fighting back against every idea you as a parent might come up with? Well we look for products that children will love but also provide this type of multisensory experience. A great example of this is Kung Fu Boogie. Kung Fu Boogie is an augmented reality (AR) dance battle game for kids. It uses foldable craft paper toys (touch) and then brings them to life (sight) through an augmented reality app. The app is a dance battle game with music (sound) and characters performing various dance moves to see who is the best. It’s a great, nonviolent way to get your kids interested with toys and games, but really be giving them a strong multisensory experience. Kung Fu Boogie is live on Kickstarter, donate today to make this

Exciting sights and sounds make Kung Fu Boogie ideal for creating multisensory experience.

Keeping Nonviolent Games Exciting

Keeping Nonviolent Games Exciting

Nonviolent games have existed since the beginning of video games. However, in modern times developers and gamers alike are looking for more of these experiences. Violence in games is so common that some gamers grow tired of it, and developers don’t find it challenging to create these kinds of games. Beyond that there are modern concerns about exposing children to too much violence, even though they love to play games. Modern developers are finding interesting ways of adapting games to be just as exciting without all the violence. These games can be compelling for a number of reasons.

One of the latest trends in games is new ways of keeping the excitement high without all the traditional means of creating that excitement. It’s easy to create a shooter, a fighting game, a war game, or any number of exciting competitive games. These frameworks already exist. There are a million examples to borrow from for inspiration, and everyone has their own idea of what would make these games just a little bit better. After all, if you’ve played more than a few games you’ve probably played a violent one. This leads to a major problem that affects both the gaming audience and the creators of the games. It gets boring and repetitive. Passionate developers thrive on challenge, and they want to make the next big hit that no one saw coming. These days that leads gamers and developers alike into a specific place at the cutting edge of the gaming industry.

Both of these groups crave something new and different.  Something they haven’t seen a million times before. Something that isn’t “Cookie Cutter Shooter #37”. We are seeing new methods of interaction and storytelling take the spotlight. Loads of amazing being released today that are being well received by critics and gamers alike include no violence in any way. Some games find new and unique ways of telling stories, like Dear Esther, a game that borders on being just an interactive movie, but is none the less compelling and unique in its storytelling. Some games take classic mechanics, like shooting a gun and turn it into something new, like shooting a camera. Some are so new and unique they make waves like Untitled Goose Game, where you play as a mischievous goose completing a variety of tasks to pester the townspeople. There are a million more interesting and unique examples I could name, but the point is that violence is not necessary for fun and excitement. Not only that, but we see gamers and creators gravitate towards them for novel experiences. But we expose a lot more than ourselves to this entertainment, and more and more people are worried about how much violence their children experience.

This worry pushes parents into an array of traditionally nonviolent games like puzzle games, platformers, games like Pong, etc. This new wave of nonviolent games provides a plethora of options for parents to allow for their kids. Children often want to play what’s popular and what their friends play. They want to get on Fortnite and Call of Duty and shoot everything that moves because that’s what all their friends talk about at school, or what the older kids do. Striving for these new innovative games, some of them are garnering widespread support and can be just as popular as all the others. A great example is Portal. Along with its sequel, Portal was immensely popular, loved by all ages, and is even now used in some classroom settings. It’s important to keep an eye out for these new games for our kids. Another great title currently in development is Kung Fu Boogie, by Playper. A game that combines crafting paper toys with an augmented reality dance battle game that has all the excitement of any fighting game. Kung Fu Boogie is live now on Kickstarter, head there now to donate and make another great nonviolent game a reality.

Click the image to donate today!

The Future of Creative Play: PLAYPER

The Future of Creative Play: PLAYPER

Creative play is something we want to encourage and often aspire to. We miss those days as a child of boundless creativity. The idea of building something from nothing and bringing it to life with imagination. It’s difficult to hold on to as we grow older, but we recognize its importance. There’s plenty of evidence to show the importance of this creative play. We seek out a wide variety of creative endeavors, especially in childhood, and find a number of products to suit those needs. Going forward into a world of technology it can be hard to keep focus on hands-on creative toys. Products must find a way to bridge this gap to embrace the future.

We’ve known for a long time that creative play is important, and play has an important role in childhood development. One particular study, titled “The importance of creative play” published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, discusses the various benefits of these activities for both handicapped and non-handicapped children. It articulates how creative play promotes problem-solving behavior that leads to learning, coping, and adaptation to change. As well as this, it also identifies the positive results of the creative process as curiosity, flexibility, improvisation, commitment, and the courage to risk. All of these are attributes we want to promote in our children, and creative play is a great way to do just that. A number of products have emerged to meet this need.

When you start talking about creative play a lot of things pop into mind, most prominently are probably crafting and building, though in both cases the object is to create something new and then play with that object you created in a way you find fun. You might be instantly thinking “Oh! Like LEGO!” and you’d be absolutely right. LEGO has long established themselves as the king of building toys, allowing you to create whole worlds of toys limited only by the imagination. They sure use a lot of plastic though, and that’s not good for the environment. Beyond specific brands, there’s the whole crafting industry. Using a variety of materials to create all sorts of things to play with. Careful with all those scissors and glue though! Moving into the future we must find ways of promoting this play in a new environment and culture.

The world has moved into one driven by and reliant on technology. Not only do we need this technology to operate in our everyday lives, but we crave it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is entertainment. Children are especially prone to becoming obsessed with “screen time” and it can be difficult to break them away from technology products when they go to play. Our culture is pushing toward the necessary initiatives of going green and being eco-friendly, as well as ensuring the products we, and especially our children, use are safe. In this new environment it can be difficult to find the right balance. LEGO struggles with using too much plastic in a culture of conservation where plastic is a major problem. Parents have to worry and watch their kids more closely when they’re crafting due to worries about unsafe materials like glues and scissors. But we can see companies finding the right niche in this environment.

One great example of this is Osmo. Marrying together a variety of creative play and then using technology to make those creations interactive and compelling, Osmo is an established company with a foothold in this space. They have married together tablets and creativity to bring your child’s creations to life in a new and unique way.  Playper, and their product Kung Fu Boogie, are chiseling out another great niche in the future of creative play.  Using the latest in augmented reality (AR) technology combined with a paper crafted toy they allow kids to just bring their creation to life, but interact with it in a unique way, through a free to download dance battle game. Playper and Kung Fu Boogie really take things exactly where they need to be going these days. They’re committed not just to unique and innovative play.  Not just to this fascinating marriage of technology and hands on play.  But they are also committed to being green, keeping their products eco-friendly by using no plastic and sticking to paper, which is recyclable. Beyond that they are dedicated to making a safe product. Their paper toys are like origami, only requiring the folding and shaping of paper, no glue, no scissors, no worry. Then they take this amazing toy that your child has created and bring it to life using augmented reality technology. It keeps kids enthralled with their paper toy and promotes a whole new avenue of exciting creative play. Products like this are the future, and need your support. Please show support for this incredible type of creative play by donating to this amazing new game, which is live on Kickstarter now.

Kung Fu Boogie Kickstarter Launch Details

Kung Fu Boogie Kickstarter Launch Details

Kung Fu Boogie is going live on Kickstarter on October 8th, just a few days away! Today I’d like to dive deep into Kung Fu Boogie so you can know what to expect from this amazing new product. From compelling gameplay using cutting edge tech to a focus on nonviolent games and eco-friendly toys, Playper has created something really special with Kung Fu Boogie.  So let’s break down just how exactly you will “Battle to the Boogie”!

Kung Fu Boogie really consists of two major products.  There is the augmented reality (AR) game as well as the paper toys of all the characters.  The fun starts when you get your first character from a blind bag.  It’s always fun to discover who you got to play with this time, and the toy is perfect for young kids. It is made entirely out of paper, Playper is fully dedicated to breaking the habit of using plastic in toys, so that it can be recycled. It is also especially safe as the paper toy requires no scissors or glue to construct. Constructing the toy is half the fun! Punch out your full color character design and fold it together to create your Kung Fu master.

It’s at this point that the second product, a completely free to download and play mobile app, comes in. The app leverages the latest in AR technology to bring the toys to life in a truly magical way. Start by scanning the face of the toy you just created and it springs to life, ready to show off all its best Kung Fu dance moves. “Battle to the Boogie” by choosing your favorite dance move to score points against your opponent. Send water, wind, feathers, or any number of obstacles at the enemy, and try to defend yourself when they strike back. Defend by swiping to dodge or block the enemy’s moves. At the end, only one can be victorious!

Kung Fu Boogie has all the excitement of a great fighting game, but without any of the violence. Playper is committed to making nonviolent games and products. It’s important to think about the kinds of media we expose our children to. While I’m not trying to talk down on violent games, there is a distinct lack of quality nonviolent choices. Here is a game to help fill that gap. It evokes feelings brought on by some of the most popular games ever. The dance and music fun of games like Just Dance or Dance Dance Revolution, the excitement of combat like Street Fighter, and yet your only weapon is your boogie! This is a product I can really support, and a Kickstarter worth donating to.

So, who created this amazing product? Something sitting at the intersection of crafting and gaming to create unique ways to play. Something nonviolent and eco-friendly perfect for kids of all ages. Well it is the creation of three amazing people with a long history in kids products. Webb, Chief Executive, Susy, Chief Operations, and Michael, Chief Creative are the talented creators of this incredible toy and game. Between them they have experience with Disney, Netflix, Scholastic, Lucasfilm, Walden Media, Creative Artists Agency, Pixar, and Dreamworks including creating successful apps and even winning an Emmy! It’s easy to donate to a product made by people with those kinds of creditials.

With the Kickstarter about to start details are coming out about Kung Fu Boogie and the incentives being offered for donors. These incentives are numerous and enticing. They include copies of characters, cool Kung Fu Boogie swag, and even getting your name in the credits!! The Kickstarter has lots more detail and information on Kung Fu Boogie, Playper, its founders, and much more! It talks about the commitment to being green and eco-friendly as well as the dedication to nonviolent games. This post has been updated with links to the Kickstarter, and here are the websites for Kung Fu Boogie and Playper.  Get excited and prepare to “Battle to the Boogie!”

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