Five videos & games for the X, Y, Z generation (and more)
Some of the best contemporary digital experiences created with children in mind are often also the simplest in concept - something that only does one thing, but really well. From international toy powerhouses such as LEGO®, to one-man production companies (Chris O’Shea) and student product designers (ENSCI), the key seems to be to try to invent a product which stokes a child’s imagination.
Wobbly jellies are intrinsically funny, but with this game, gelatine just got more interesting. With ‘food artists such as Bompas and Parr, art and fashion-inspired jelly seems to be quite the zeitgeist. Noisy Jelly takes itself much less seriously, yet is still a surprisingly memorable science experiment for any age. The game comprises a kit of jelly powders, with which you create a series of different coloured, oddly shaped jellies, moulds and a « sound board ». Once set, the jellies can be played like instruments, each shape reverberating at a different pitch. Instantly appealing for kids and adults alike, lets hope these are in the shops by Christmas.
Chris O’Shea (UK / 2012)
An encouragingly imaginative use of a smartphone as a digital toy for kids, Makego turns your iPhone or iTouch into a push-a-long car, ice cream van or speedboat. Part computer game, part dinky toy but without the physical merchandise, the user can select a character and vehicle to play with before tearing it up on the imaginary autostrada. With perfectly thought-out sound, this game aims to encourage collaborative play as opposed to some of the more isolating experiences of other child-oriented iPhone apps.
AT-AT Day Afternoon
Patrick Boivin (USA / 2011)
Both an ode to 80’s toy nostalgia and the perfect example of childhood humour, this short tells the story of a Star-Wars toy, which thinks it is a dog. His day consists of playing, a trip to the park and some surprisingly silly dog mess along the way. If only toys really could be like this…
Cherry on the Cake
Hyebin Lee (UK / 2010)
Told from the point of view of Cherry, a little girl who thinks her family is too busy with the new baby to remember her birthday. As she is increasingly ignored, she feels herself shrinking smaller and smaller until she almost disappears. A beautiful, understated non-dialogue graduate animation short from the acclaimed NFTS film school in Beaconsfield, UK.
LEGO® Life of George
LEGO® Life of George
A gimmick-free, inspiring iPhone / iTouch App and game, which blends AR (Augmented Reality) and real world lego building. Based on traditional, levels- based arcade games, George challenges its players to construct increasingly complicated lego creations against the clock, from sunglasses to ice cream cones and cocktails. To move on to the next level, the player uses the AR app to check its accuracy, unlocking the next stage of the game.