On September 17th, CMA’s New and Emerging Technologies in Children’s Media presented an insightful panel on the future of our industry in the technological world. The panel was composed of some of the top names in the children’s tech industry. Moderated by Makeda Mays Green (VP of Digital Consumer Insights at Nickelodeon), the panel consisted of Joey Egger (Two Moos Executive Producer), Andrea Palumbos (Sesame Workshop Senior Producer), and Kurt Young (Founder and CEO of Mokuni LLC).
Mays Green kicked off with a question to the panelists on how their work is changing the world that children inhabit today. Egger talked about her current project, a VR experience that helps children cope with stressful needle procedures in Australian hospitals. The virtual reality prototype was created in 3 weeks with funding from an Australian medical professional. By using Unity assets, Eggers and her team created an underwater narrative experience with soothing sounds and calming scenery. The project proved to reduce stress in 95% of children tested.
Next, Mays Green asked how children’s social and emotional development play a part in how VR games are conceived. Young shared how Mokuni’s Kitty in the Box received varying results when the game was taken to a convention. Mokuni’s VR experience is a first-person game requiring the player to place a cat in a box. He shared that while some participants wanted to help the cat into the box, others enjoyed just petting the cat and spending quiet time near it. Still others attempted to elicit a response from the cat by trying different ways to provoke it. Regardless of the response, a lot of insight was gained from the experience that would later inspire projects at Mokuni, focused on healthy social and emotional development in children through augmented reality play.
Palumbos continued the talk by discussing her current Amazon Alexa project featuring Sesame Workshop’s newest animated release, Esme and Roy. Focusing on the series’ imaginative play and mindfulness curriculum, the audio in the game is explorative, meaningful, and fun playtime that allows kids to take control, and take a break from screen-reliant skill builders.
The evening ended with another round of questions from Mays Green to the panelists and questions from the audience. The talk was overall exciting and inspiring as we turn to today’s advancements to find new ways to learn and play. In addition, our panelists were able to share how we are integrating today’s innovative tools and imaginative engineering into our everyday lives and the lives of our children.
Log in to your CMA Member Account to watch the full event video here: https://childrensmediaassociation.org/event-video-and-livestreams