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Disney's pivot to home-"rental"-first is colossal

Forbes: "Like Comcast and Warner Media, Walt Disney is preparing for a future where most of the bankable theatrical franchises come to an end and movie theaters become glorified advertisements..."

Cautious viewers, if not throngs unleashed, will presumably be hesitant to attend anything below known-winners. This makes reviews more powerful, word of mouth more powerful, and recognized brands more powerful.

$15 home "rental" fee for the whole family may be a profitable way forward, particularly if theaters can be set adrift.

Exploring the Many Varieties of Eco-Friendly Toys

If you are keen on keeping children in your family, friend group, or community happy, there are many ways to do so without harming the Planet. From eco-friendly stuffed toys right through to toxin-free art supplies, items abound for those who are willing to do a little research before buying. One good way to start is to look for toys and games that are recognized by standards such as the Global Organic Textile or the Global Recycled Standard. Read on.

The Benefits Of Eco-Friendly Toys For Your Children

Eco-friendly toys are becoming an increasingly popular choice — in fact, generation Alpha (children born between 2010 and 2025) are the most eco-conscious generation yet, with 63% of this demographic wanting work in some way that lets them help save the planet when they grow up. Providing your child with eco-friendly toys is significantly better for their health and the environment. It can also teach your children the green principles essential for living in closer harmony with the Earth.

Toypac Shakur: Death Row Records is now officially owned by toy giant Hasbro

It comes after Hasbro forked out a whopping $3.8 billion to buy Canadian studio Entertainment One Ltd. (eOne) because it owns the lucrative Peppa Pig and PJ Masks franchises. The deal was initially announced at the end of last summer but was officially completed on December 30, 2019.

Entertainment One also has a valuable music division that includes ownership of Death Row Records’ catalogue, which it purchased in 2013 after the rap label’s previous parent company went bankrupt.

MIND ALONE - clever, cooperative, compelling

The Brazilian gaming market is full of opportunities and peculiarities. The country is well-known abroad for being an emergent field where new game ideas can be explored, and also for its high levels of piracy, unfortunately. In a certain way, the country is a unique “ecosystem” where different business models and creative processes can be explored, given the size and the diversity of its population, of almost 220 million people.

The gaming industry in Brazil is not consolidated though, and under many aspects it is still in an initial stage. As a first step into our discussion, we can highlight some attributes of the Brazilian gaming market, using as reference the data collected in an important survey named Game Brazil Research 2018 [3] (Pesquisa Game Brasil 2018, in Portuguese), conducted by the company Sioux Games, which has published the game Mind Alone, our object of study in this essay.

In its fifth edition, the research comprised interviews with 2853 people, in an attempt to investigate some demographic, consumption and behavioral aspects of the Brazilian gaming field. The first information we need to highlight is the fact that 75.5% of the Brazilian population plays games in a wide range of platforms, like smartphones, tablets, computers, consoles, portable consoles, etc.

According to this research, the gamer audience in Brazil is mainly cross-platform, with 74% of players experiencing games on more than one device. Smartphones lead the numbers as the most popular gaming platforms in Brazil (37.6%), while consoles occupy the second place (28.8%), followed by computers, in third place (26.4%).

Another interesting piece of information from Game Brazil Research 2018 concerns the self-image of the Brazilian gamer audience: only 6.1% of the respondents considered themselves to be “hardcore” gamers. Most of the interviewed people identified themselves as casual gamers.

It was also remarkable, in the research about mobile games, that 60.7% of respondents said they played while in transit (bus, subway or car). Finally, it is noteworthy that 53.6% of Brazilian gamers are women, and among the female audience the favorite platform is mobile (59%), in which they spend an average of one to three hours a week playing games.

From these preliminary data, it is possible to understand that Brazil is a fertile ground for mobile games and a place with high potential for new gaming business in this field. To reinforce how relevant the mobile platform is for games in Brazil, we can bring to our discussion the game entitled Horizon Chase (Aquiris, 2018). This game was the first Brazilian game launched for Playstation 4, in Blu-ray disc format. However, it had
been previously launched for smartphones and tablets.

There are no massive game publishers in Brazil yet, and mobile platforms like App Store (Apple) and Play Store (Google) constitute interesting opportunities for game designers, indie studios and small gaming companies to showcase their work, in Brazil and abroad.

Based on this initial information, we will discuss, in the next topic, this article’s object of study: the mobile game Mind Alone.

HOMO LUDENS - A Study of the Play-Element in Culture, by Johan Huizinga

Homo Ludens, or man the Player is the species, Dutch historian Johan Huizinga, argues is as significant as Homo Faber (Man the Maker) and Homo Sapiens (The Reasonable Man).

Written in 1938, Huizinga’s book Homo Ludens discusses the importance of the play as an element and manifestation of culture, with, in and through which civilization unfolds. When it comes to language, Homo Ludens is “playing with the wondrous nominative faculty”

Take language, for instance – that first and supreme instrument which man shapes in order to communicate, to teach, to command. Language allows him to distinguish, to establish, to state things; in short, to name then and by naming them to raise them into the domain of the spirit. In the making of speech and language the spirit is continually “sparking” between matter and mind, as it were, playing with the wondrous nominative faculty. Behind every abstract expression there lie the boldest of metaphors, and every metaphor is a play upon words.

cit. Huizinga, J. (1949). Homo ludens. London, Boston and Henley, Routledge & Kegan Paul

http://www.thebravenewtext.com/excerpts  -from-the-brave-new-text/homo-ludens-and-  the-electronic-text-book-excerpt/

HOMO LUDENS / ADVERGAMING -- Doritos Crash Course: using a game as a platform for advertising and branding

In this paper, we seek to analyze the use of a game named Doritos Crash Course as an advertising piece for the Doritos brand. We discuss the hybridization of a video game experience and a branded content inside the gaming universe; also known as an advergaming strategy. Wanako Games developed the game in 2010 for the Xbox 360 console and this ludic content starts a series of related actions using entertainment for Doritos. As a digital downloadable content for the Xbox platform, the game could reach a great audience by the gap of few clicks and it establishes an interesting and strategic point to highlight in the contemporary ambient of marketing and communication. We intend to discuss the main points of Doritos Crash Course and explore some important information from the global gaming market. We understand that, in this context, video games could be considered a product to be sold and a media platform for advertising.

In Doritos Crash Course, the player controls his own Xbox avatar that must run in a type of fantastic roller coaster to reach the finishing point before time runs out. With rich visual graphics, the game is a fast and casual experience for all ages and already has downloadable expansions and even earned a sequel: the Doritos Crash Course 2. The game is free for download and consists in a 2.5D side-scrolling platform (essentially a 2D-like gameplay within a 3D environment) with online ranking that allows players all around the world to share their scores.

Doritos Crash Course has two features we would like to highlight: first of all, the game is an experience sponsored by Doritos and the brand appears in the beginning of each stage. The second important feature is the in-game advertising possibility inside some floating outdoors in the game interface. As we can see in the image below, the outdoor displays an ad for Crash Course 2 (the second game of the franchise) and it supports many types of advertising for the brand.

Caillois's "Man, Play, and Games": An Appreciation and Evaluation

This article explores the contributions of Roger Caillois to the study of human play. The initial portion of the essay focuses on Caillois's scholarly career as a response to the public events and intellectual movements of his time. The author shows how Caillois's responses influenced the portraits of play that he developed in such important books as "Man and the Sacred" and "Man, Play, and Games." The article then analyzes the themes Caillois developed in these writings and compares them to Johan Huizinga's interpretation of play in "Homo Ludens." In a final section, the article shows the continued pertinence of Caillois's approach to contemporary scholarship and offers author's own evaluation of this theory.

The coming Very Severe Backlash against Plastics

The U.K. appears to have a new passion: Ending the use of plastic. Two little girls, Ella age nine and Caitlin age seven, began a petition asking McDonald's and Burger King to stop providing plastic toys with their kid's meals. They, in a pretty short time, secured half-a-million signatures and an agreement from Burger King to stop giving away plastic toys.

What's behind the movement? Children are frightened about global warming and polluted oceans because they are going to have to live in the future world about which they hear and read.

Plastic is a toxic endocrine disruptor that interferes with life, gender, reproduction. Plastic particles ("microplastics") contaminate much drinking water. "Floating islands" of plastic debris are present in at least one ocean and probably more.

Understanding Gen Z; Six Insights -- Richard Gottlieb, Global Toy Experts

There are 72 million people in the United States who are part of the Gen Z (Generation Z) cohort. They were born between 1997 and 2012, and those children and young adults have, so far, had quite a ride. Some remember 9-11 and the rest have grown up in its aftermath.

Their passage through childhood is probably more traumatized than any generation since those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II. The combination of their life experience and their immersion in the digital age makes them a very different generation than those the toy industry has experienced in the past.

New FAO Schwarz Flagship Store Opens in NYC

Today, FAO Schwarz opened the doors of its new flagship location in New York City. The toy store spans two and a half levels with more than 20,000 square feet of signature toys, interactive experiences, and shops.

Using the iPad as a Tool for Early Literacy

What do you do when your kids are constantly begging to "play on the iPad" but you know they should be reading a book instead? Carly Shuler, Co-Founder and CEO of Hoot Reading (and former Cooney Center Fellow!) has some great tips on taking advantage of the opportunities for playful learning that tablets can provide.

Be sure to disable the wireless first, however.

Legendary toy store set to return, and it needs people who can play ‘Chopsticks’

Midtown Manhattan store will be staffed with demonstrators, magicians and men and women playing costumed roles, including toy soldiers.

FAO Schwarz is looking for a few good toy soldiers.

A dominant presence in Midtown Manhattan for decades before its closure in 2015, the toy store is coming to life again with a new, 20,000-square-foot Rockefeller Center location, set to open in November. ThreeSixty Group Inc., a California-based firm, acquired the retail brand from Toys “R” Us in October 2016 for an undisclosed price and has since launched an ambitious campaign to revive it on a global scale.

Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace

Simon Sinek speaking about Millennials in the workplace of today, and social media addiction.

Unconscious behavioral guidance systems

Cues we see setting behavioral responses and norms. Priming effect is very strong. Monkey-see, Monkey-do.

$40 microscope offers superb value and lasting fun

An unexpected surprisingly good value in $40 microscope for fun -- definitely a great gift for 10 year-old budding scientists that is NOT yet another el-cheap, plasticky, throw-away China-made junkster.

Toys R Us killed itself

When Toys "R" Us filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, it disclosed it had about $5 billion in debt and was spending about $400 million a year just to service that debt. That burden crowded out critical strategic priorities, like making its stores a nice place to shop and paying employees. "If you're going to have that breadth of inventory, you need someone in the store to help you find it, help you experience it," said Greg Portell, lead partner at retail consultant A.T. Kearney. "It's hard to sell toys in a cold, warehouse environment."

Monkey See Monkey Do -- Trump's meeting on video game violence

President Donald Trump, as he seeks to respond to gun violence in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, will gather opposing sides at the White House on Thursday to discuss the role of video game violence.

Trump has signaled in the wake of the shooting that killed 17 people that he believes violence in video games is partly to blame for real life violence. On Thursday, the President will host a meeting between representatives from the video game industry and those who think games have made kids more violent in recent years.

The meeting marks a distinct pivot away from the gun control measures discussed by Trump and others in the immediate wake of the [Parkland, Florida school] shooting.

Good Toys, Bad Toys

Play is many things but most important of all - Play is learning. The more intelligent the species the more they play, play being the act of dipping into the unknown and building a structure of knowledge about one’s self and the world. The toys we give to children literally shape their minds and imaginations. Some toys are open-ended, others very articulated, defined. The more defined a toy is the less imagination and learning it stimulates. Smart Play/Smart Toys strips away the marketing blitz and helps parents, anyone who cares for children, make informed choices. She provides a highly refined way to evaluate the PQ – Play Quotient – of toys, again, play being Learning, for children of all ages. The more media influences the lives of our children the more every parent and teacher need the wisdom and caring intelligence Dr. Toy’s offers. Don’t turn on the television without it!

Michael Mendizza Founder – Touch the Future, www.ttfuture.org

Author Magical Parent Magical Child with Joseph Chilton Pearce

Screen time found to have direct impact on speech delays in babies

Researchers found that by their 18-month check-up, 20 percent of the babies had an average daily handheld device usage of around 28 minutes. More disturbing was the data that recorded a 49 percent increased risk of expressive speech delay, or what the researchers defined as using sounds and words, for every 30-minute increase in handheld screen time.

Dr. Toy on the Power of Play ©

In play, children gain mastery over themselves and learn their own power in relationships with others. They grasp social values such as biases and responsibilities. They learn to communicate better. They absorb concepts like making judgments. All children express a unique style of play and the ways they play when they are young reflect how they will deal with others during later life.

Dr Toy Talks - The Rx for Play Is Essential ©

Parents should encourage and stimulate the child's Play Quotient (PQ). As the child's "Play Guide," parents teach skills to be happier and get along better with others. Parents enhance a child's "PQ" by choosing toys carefully, joining in their play, and taking the time to read. Playful parents (and teachers) encourage a child to be playful -- a more playful child is more aware, smarter and resilient. The benefits are enormous.

STAWAR: Building blocks of life

San Francisco child development expert Stevanne Auerbach, known as Dr. Toy, says, "One of the most important areas of play involves building with construction toys of all kinds. This is an important creative and learning experience for boys and girls of all ages. The benefits last for a lifetime."

You Are Being Gamed

Very smart people devising how to use technology to their advantage and trap you into their endless games.