Disney Infinity – Teaching software development in a game

Sorcerer Mickey - Disney Infinity

As you might imagine, I’m pretty excited about Disney Infinity — especially after receiving a Sorcerer Mickey figure at the D23 Expo this weekend!  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the Toy Box mode, but after watching a couple videos, it really feels like this game is teaching kids to write software.  The Button and Repeater objects strongly remind me of registering event listeners and then handling the trigger.  I also see iterative loops and counters built into this simple example.  In the years ahead, I think that software development will be integrated at some level into grade school or at the very least, a life skill class in High School, like wood-shop or auto-shop.  Geek-shop perhaps?

Check out the video below and see if you agree…

 

Bacon and Rocketry, a Perfect Harmony

Sizzle, Sizzle, Sizzle it must be Friday because I hear sizzling Bacon!

“Bacon is great, there’s only one way to top it,
and that is to power bacon with a powerful rocket”

Thanks to SpenceMan for passing along a video from the folks over at RatherGood.com. If you’re not familiar with these guys, they brought us such greats as Pavoratti Love Elephants and She’s Got a Chicken to Ride.  Today we have a video about bacon, a rocket, and a catchy tune. ((Headphones Recommended))

The Muppets: Pöpcørn

Looks like the folks at The Muppets Studio are keeping busy after Beaker claimed their Webby Award last year and another win this year presented to Animal and Floyd Pepper.  They just released a new video today starring my favorite culinary expert and movie projectionist: The Swedish Chef.  And it comes with Closed Caption subtitles! It’s written all phoenitetic, phennotic, fein… Oh you know, when you write it down the way it sounds. 🙂

More thoughts after the video…

I’ve yet to see a video come out the Muppet Studios in the last few years that wasn’t what I would consider to be a hit.  Personally, I am hoping this is all leading up to The Muppets returning to ABC.  I would love to see them show up on Friday Night at 8pm.  I think it’d be about the perfect time slot.  Kids and families tend to be home on Friday nights. You can’t aim for the same demographic as Monday through Thursday nights because they’re a lot less likely to be at home watching TV on a Friday night.

Since acquiring the rights to …employ… Kermy and his Muppetational pals, Disney has put The Muppets into the theme parks (even sneaking them into the Parade at Disneyland).  The Disney Parks 2010 “Give a Day Get a Day” volunteering promotion starred the Muppets in every single commercial.  Bob Iger even saved them as the Surprise Guests over Teri Hatcher and James Denton when they launched the program.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see the Muppets live on stage, I can’t really describe the experience.  If you immediately dismiss the idea as a sock puppet with some guys hand up their crack, I think you’re missing that the actors which perform the characters are every bit as talented and famous as any other TV or  movie star.  I’d almost argue they are more talented because they must remain in character at all times while ad libbing and maintaing both the voice and persona of the characters.  I was fortunate enough to see The Muppets perform three songs live on Stage at the D23 Expo last year

(including Rainbow Connection).  I was immediately 5 years old and started feeling misty. If you watch the video to the end, you’ll see Johnny Depp saunter over to Dick Cook (fully in character as Captain Jack Sparrow mind you) and you can hear him asking the audience “Did you see the Frog? The singing frog!”. Then, while Dick Cook asked him about doing more Pirates movies, he went on for a bit about how amazing the Singing Frog was.

Considering what passes for kids shows on TV today, I can’t see how The Muppets could fail.  They’ve already used the internet to get a buzz going.  They’ve got a new movie coming out (at D23 Expo they teased that the title would be “The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made” — a story about The Muppets being bought but a giant company and forced to work for them… Hrmm, that sounds familiar…)

Many of us that were kids when The Muppet Show was originally on (and the Muppet Babies) now have kids of that are likely to be in the exact target age group — and can you imagine a crazy idea like parents and kids watching a show with values together? I don’t think anything could be more sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational. So come on ABC, It’s time to get things started. Why don’t you get things started?  It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights… I think it’s time to raise the curtain on The Muppet Show Tonight  – Season 6. What do you think?