Robot 6

Fabian Nicieza working on ‘world’s first virtual sports theme park’

FunGoPlay

A new “virtual sports theme park” launching later this spring seeks to combine “the most appealing aspects of online gaming with the joys of real world play,” and helping them to do that is Red Robin writer Fabian Nicieza.

FunGoPlay will allow kids to earn medals, points and power-ups in the virtual world by wearing branded sports gear when they play in the real world that apparently keeps track of their activity levels and sends it back to the game.

“Our research shows that kids’ activity levels are determined when they are eight and nine years old. Not coincidentally, this is the time that they are being sucked into the often sedentary lifestyle of video games and surfing online,” said FunGoPlay President David Jacobs in a press release. “We saw an opportunity to combine two leading kid passions—digital entertainment and real world active sports play—so we changed the game by introducing a virtual world that rewards kids for playing and being active in the real world. We see this as a future of online gaming that both parents and children can enjoy.”

Nicieza, the longtime comic scribe who also served as editor-in-chief of the Acclaim’s comic line, is the head of creative for FunGoPlay. He will write all the storylines for the various characters that appear in the game, a spokesperson said. The company also includes David Mauer, former president of Mattel USA and current CEO of EB Brands, and David Jacobs, formerly with Sesame Workshop.

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Hmm…I wish all the best for Fabian and hope this project is a success in getting kids more active, but I’ve never liked this idea that you should give kids treats not for doing anything exceptional but just for doing what they were supposed to do in the first place. They shouldn’t need to have some kind of point system as an incentive to run around outside. They should just run around outside because it’s fun.

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