Saturday, January 26, 2008

Back to Board Games

Amid all the talk of tech at this week's Kid's Marketing Mega Event (I hosted the Symposium on Media & Technology) I was surprised at how many times kids, parents and speakers mentioned family board game nights. No wonder Hasbro paid $77 million for Cranium.

Frequent mentions of scrapbooking, crafts, Crayolas and outdoor play convinced me that a counter-trend is in full flower. Parents and kids are valiently working to weigh down the anti-tech side of the scale with traditional amusements. Clearly, not all family time is spend gathered around the Wii.

Then I realized I had joined the trend, too. Last week, I had introduced my godchildren to Apples to Apples. They couldn't get enough of it--they never begged once to use my coveted laptop.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Grafitti is forever

Iesha lives in a Puerto Rican neighborhood on Chicago's west side. Yesterday, while walking by Lincoln Park's St. Clement's church, I asked her if she'd like to look inside.

At first she hung back, but when we came out she said she'd liked it, "Especially the beautiful graffiti around the ceiling."

Mosaic scriptures circle the golden dome as graffiti circles the el trains. To Iesha, graffiti doesn't deface, but embellishes.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Watch for more book back-matter

DVD's provide their "making of" bonuses and funny outtakes, websites provide secret material that's unlocked by codes. Until recently, books just ended with "The End." Now publishing is catching on and catching up. The surge of Book Club questions and author interviews after the final sentence attests to it.

Edgar & Ellen books provided a hidden code that led readers to the site. 39 Clues will take you on a multimedia quest.

I predict that the popularity of our next series, Kaimira Code, will hinge largely on the mysterious back matter that provides coded messages, an unfinished manuscript and a lost diary.

Keep an eye out for a growing trend in intiguing, fragmentary content--the end after the end...

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