ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.7 - OCTOBER 2000
There's Humongous Rewards in Edutaining Little Kids
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And the next frontier for the game developer may very well be cyberspace. The company already has very child friendly, game and interactivity packed Websites that include elements of online gaming. At Humongous.com, children can play familiar games such as Concentration, Tic-Tac-Toe and Checkers featuring characters like Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam, SPY Fox and, of course, Putt-Putt. The Backyard Sports games Football and Baseball both provide an on-line multiplayer element that allows for head-to-head cyber-competition. Players of the sports games will require both an Internet connection and the game CD-Rom. Both sites provide community elements for the children, including The Sidelines at HumongousSports.com.
Humongous Entertainment's 6-year-old superhero, Pajama Sam. © 2000 Humongous Entertainment. All rights reserved.
"We have more than thirty thousand unique children playing the on-line sports games," confides Carlton. "The sports site also features The Sidelines, a place where kids can meet and chat on delayed bulletin boards, check out player statistics, read game hints and find downloadable goodies such as wall paper, coloring pages, screen savers and sounds."
Those elements, but featuring the Junior Adventure characters, also bring children back to the Humongous.com site. The e-commerce elements to the sites allow easy shopping and products from hand-held to box games can be purchased. In addition, premiums, such as a Pajama Sam lunchbox or Putt-Putt T-shirt, can be obtained when pre-ordering upcoming releases. A next step will be delivering games online, a process that the company is exploring.
"The backbone for this process is in place, but the question is whether consumers are ready to begin looking for electronic entertainment products to originate online," says Stringer. "We are also very concerned about ensuring that the online worlds we develop are safe and secure for young children and their families. So while this is an important growth area for us, it is one we are approaching cautiously."
Jacquie Kubin, a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist, enjoys writing about the electronic entertainment and edutainment mediums, including the Internet. She is a frequent contributor to the Washington Times and Krause Publication magazines. She has won the 1998 Certificate of Award granted by the Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee of the American Association of University Women.
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