Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Konstruction Zone: Serious Games For Future Engineers

Serious Games building better playtime

Via: Business & Games: The Blog - Innovative Virtual World For Future Engineers

Guest post by Heather Johnson

One of the most interesting startups that are slated to launch this year is Konstruction Zone, a "virtual playground" that is geared toward both children and their parents.

The Konstruction Zone is a brand new destination where parents and children will be able to build, play and share their creations together.

Designed to develop spatial and problem-solving skills for young people, Konstruction Zone is unlike any other youth-oriented virtual world. Case in point: one of the main goals of the site is to *gasp* encourage off-line, family playtime. Children are not known as "users" on the site, they are called "builders." In the Konstruction Zone world, builders will have access to online animated adventures, which present them with various challenges.

For example, a dump truck needs to cross a stream, but the stream is too deep. Builders are then encouraged to go offline and create a solution to each problem. They can use any kind of medium, be it construction toys (LEGOs, Lincoln Logs, etc.) or an original drawing. The builders can then upload a picture of their creation onto the site and share it with the community, creating somewhat of a social community for the children (albeit a safe one).

Konstruction Zone has all the makings of a successful youth-oriented site. There are games, animated episodes, customizable avatars and more. However, what makes it really stand out from the pack is the company's altruistic mission to bring back family playtime. This site isn't afraid to tell you to turn off your computer, go outside and get dirty.

Although Konstruction Zone has yet to launch its public beta phase, updates can be found in the site's
monthly newsletter. The company will also be attending Virtual Worlds Conference 2008 in New York City. Hopefully, more news about this startup will follow.

Konstruction Zone president Robert Brackenridge, who has recently left his post with the Houston Technology Center to start Konstruction Zone, had some favorable press about his new venture.

In just a few short months, KZ shall bring exciting visual content and inspire you to solve challenges and build structures. Come back to see Konstruction Zone as they start Building Better Playtime™.