One of the biggest critiques of video games is that they doesn’t promote enough physical and social activity, leading many to shun the medium entirely without considering their many positive benefits. The inventors behind Hybrid Play have a love for both video games and outdoor physical activity, leading them to create a product that bridges both worlds.
Hybrid Play comes in the form of a Bluetooth-equipped sensor that clamps onto any sort of rotational or static playground element, like swings or slides. Once attached, with the help on the onboard accelerometer, that element can be used as input for a game on a smartphone connected nearby. This leads to a group of children shouting instructions to another group of children on a slide or wherever else to successfully control the game, encouraging activity, verbal communication, and teamwork. And if the two exclusive games for Hybrid Play get stale, the iOS/Android companion app allows users access to the rest of the both exclusive and classic games like Pac-Man for the platform, along with the ability to create your very own. Hopefully, all this together will actually keep a child’s notoriously fickle attention span occupied over the long run.
Hybrid Play is not only about bridging this divide, but also teaching as well. Gamesonomy support means that users without any programming knowledge will be able to create their own games for use with Hybrid Play, and one of the campaign’s stretch goals includes Scratch Jr. integration, an introductory language that teaches five to seven year olds how to code. The campaign is looking to raise $140,0000 by November 28th, 2014. A Hybrid Play kit is going for $124 with an April 2015 delivery window.