As the first version of Trivially began to take shape, one thing quickly became apparent: kids love to play with it. Even if they didn’t have a clue as to what a “Blue Orpington” is/was, or perhaps aren’t even reading yet. With younger kids, part of the appeal may be in the fact that they get to play with the bigger kids (and adults), even if their only strategy is to keep choosing “C” on the Trivially Remote, because it’s their favorite letter. With older kids, the fun might be come from the fact that it’s just another way to score some screen time, or perhaps to show off a bit with their friends.

Whatever the reason, it was interesting to watch and a great source of feedback. But it was also surprising, in terms of what I learned (although, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised that there was plenty to learn about how (differently) 7 or 13 year olds see the world). It usually only took about 30 seconds before the kid players/testers started coming up with ideas… “Can I choose my own avatar?”, “You need to work a multi-level maze into this thing”, or “How about a remote-control music app?”.

Some pretty inspiring ideas! I’d like to think that it had something to do with the interactive/multi-user/multi-display aspect of CrowdGame :), but something tells me that it has more to do with the level of connection that most kids have today with games, and what happens when someone just asks them what they think…

This line of thinking led to the first-ever CrowdGame “Kidsourcing Event #1”, held this weekend at Hyperbotic Labs World Headquarters: What would happen if you get a bunch of 13 year olds in a (soundproof?) room, with some free pop and a bag of pretzels, and asked them to freewheel a bit on your game, or asked them to come up with some trivia questions, or asked them what new games they’d like to see?

Again, it was pretty inspiring, and a lot of fun. Some of the ideas where similar to what we’ve bounced around before, but with important (read: more funner) differences, while others were pretty off-the-wall… and therefore really cool to hear about. Some of the ideas were “big” – potentially representing entirely new products – and some were a little smaller… for instance, I hope to roll in some of the excellent trivia questions we mashed up into a Trivially over-the-air update soon.

Thanks, Bryan, Tristan, and Carl, for participating!