How to fail (and succeed) with digital / physical play?

Digital / physical cross-over toys have been a hot topic at the various toy fairs this year whether they are called digital toys, connected toys or Toys to Life. This is an area I’ve been particularly fascinated in and enjoy being involved with. My time at Fundamentally Children reviewing toys for the Good Toy Guide, apps for the Good App Guide and anything in between gave me a deep understanding of the synergies, barriers, challenges and children’s behaviours relevant to making a successful digital/physical toy.

Following various conversations with one of my favourite clients, Phil Stuart, Creative Director at Preloaded, on the subject he kindly asked me to co-author an article on the subject for the Preloaded Blog which you will find here:

How to fail (and succeed) with digital / physical play? 

As ever my perspective focuses on how failures result due to misunderstandings of the audience. In particular, there is a huge challenge to create a balanced loop between on-screen and off-screen play. Typically with connected toys, either one or other will dominate, often the screen which does such a great job of demanding attention! In my opinion, getting this loop balanced and ensuring longevity in the play experience would go a long way towards creating some real successes in this emerging yet troubled domain.

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