Game-Based Storytelling with Abhi Arya

Image uploaded from iOSOn Tuesday, February 21st, Abhi Arya lead the Children’s Media Association in a talk on game-based learning. As the co-founder of Sandbox & Co, Arya had plenty to share on how his company has acquired and developed some of the leading brands in kids game-based learning. Titles in their portfolio include Poptropica, TinyBop, Funbrain, and Galactic Hot Dogs, and many others.

During his talk, Arya discussed the three key points for why game-based learning works and is taking off: High Engagement, Longer Knowledge Retention, and Platform Availability. Arya noted that an average Poptropica gaming session can hold a child’s attention for up to 28 minutes at a time. This means that a child is taking in 28 minutes of explorative, fun, and educational content in a single sitting. By making these interactions educational, designers are able to craft learnable components that lead to longer knowledge retention. In addition to these points, Arya pointed out that Sandbox & Co owes a portion of their success to their wide availability across platforms. They know that their success depends upon who can access the content, so Sandbox & Co makes sure that all of their brands are accessible to teachers, parents, and kids across multiple media platforms.

media.storyarc.poptropicaworlds-featuredArya also gave insight into  Sandbox & Co’s adventure role-playing game, Poptropica. Acquired from Pearson, one of the nation’s leading learning and education companies, Sandbox & Co took on the task of molding the game into a tool that wasn’t built  for use in the classroom but could potentially create impact around the classroom. By focusing on learning, Arya and his company have branded their content for consumers, while still including thoughtful experiences. This has come together through their strong learning framework, that strives to embody their motto: “Solve, relate, create, reflect, investigate, adapt, serve, get real and get going.”

Before opening the floor to questions, Arya announced that Poptropica had exciting things ahead. While continuing to adopt new technologies into their games, the Poptropica team is working on Dr. Hare mini game islands and a Phantom of the Opera storyline. Log in to our CMA member portal to watch video of this event and many more!