In the children’s entertainment report issued in the January issue, InterGame takes a look at the role of redemption games, weighs up the importance of the prize versus the experience and explores one of the great buzz words - ‘edutainment.’
The redemption segment is huge and is cited by many as the key to the future longevity of the amusement industry. The fact that it introduces a prize element to the game playing experience has provided a shot in the arm to the market and it is this sector that is experiencing the most growth. Venues that have traditionally looked to the addition of video amusements, such as bowling centres and restaurant chains, are recognising the value of redemption’s appeal across many age groups. At a time when games are accessible via mobile devices such as tablets, redemption games offer a way for FECs, for example, to differentiate themselves from everything else available out there.
funworld's Rainer Eder agrees: "When it comes to children, this aspect is very important. Praise and approval is used very often in the Touch Toy software. With sentences like 'you did a good job' or 'well done', for example, the child's performance is rewarded."
According to Sega's Burke, including an educational element to a game can work in some instances, making games more acceptable to parents. However, he stressed, it is an important balance.
This is a sentiment echoed by funworld’s Eder, who said that it poses an interesting challenge for game developers. “One challenge is the development of child-friendly software that is also pedagogically valuable and equipped with educational content”, he said. “However, the biggest challenge is certainly to transform this valuable content into interesting and fun games for children. This balancing act is known as ‘playful learning’.
There is a price for this level of innovation, however, if operators are willing to get on board, the children’s entertainment sector could be among the strongest within the amusement market.