Out of the Sandbox Blog
About the Author
Wendy Smolen is the cofounder of Sandbox Summit, an elite idea forum that explores the synergy between play and technology. She's been an astute player in the kids toy and media industry for nearly 20 years, testing, evaluating, and rating products for major publications and companies. However, her office is wall-to-wall toys, so she still refers to her business appointments as playdates.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author. Any questions/comments should be directed to its author, Wendy Smolen, and not Kidscreen.com/Kidscreen Magazine.
After a glorious weekend of parades, barbeques, fireworks and picnics, I got back to the real business of summer by connecting with Kristin Riddick, author of the Kat McGee middle school book series, including the timely Kat McGee Saves America. Kristin’s take on holidays and media made me rethink the reasoning behind all those red, white and blue cupcakes I devoured.
In this season of commencement addresses, happiness is trending. All over the country, esteemed speakers from diverse fields are telling graduates to “do what makes them happy.” Happiness is also what we, in the kids’ media business, are selling. After all, if our products don’t elicit smiles, something is seriously wrong.
Everyday, we hear about another child horror: from kidnapping to elevator stabbing, to wandering out of school to being left alone with matches. No matter how hard we try, life happens, and we can’t protect all kids, all the time.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I spent three blissfully lazy days with a group of my closest friends at the beach. It gave me the opportunity to observe how, how often, why, and how well we Boomers play with technology.
Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Memorial Day weekend. All of these opportunities for family get-togethers make me think about kids playing together, rather than in parallel universes. And it’s interesting to consider: Technology, both in terms of game creation and content, has fueled the popularity of non-digital play.
No matter what business you’re in, you need a website. If you’re like me, and most of our Kidscreen world, your website probably ends in dot com, dot org or dot edu. Jeff Sass, chief marketing officer of .Club Domains, a company formed to own and operate the new “.CLUB” gTLD, says this is all about to change.
One of the workshops at the recent Sandbox Summit@ MIT parsed the process of creating a good game for teaching. I sat down with Barbara Chamberlin, from the Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State, to discuss the developers’ playbook
Last week, Cupcake Digital, the mobile app developer known for such award-winning properties as Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Animal Planet, and Fraggle Rock, announced its acquisition of iStoryTime developer zuuka, now making Cupcake Digital one of the largest independent children’s app developers in the world.