Tronvig Group has launched the DiMenna Children’s History Museum website as part of the New-York Historical Society website. Featured on this new website is a kids section that showcases the first of three kid-friendly educational games: Sloppy Copy. Sloppy Copy introduces the New-York Historical Society’s wonderful and eclectic collection of objects and artworks to children by setting the kids on the trail of an entertaining villain: Finnias the Forger, a.k.a the “sloppy copier.”
Back story: the sloppy copier is an overconfident and well-dressed petty criminal. He is also the black sheep uncle of Anna and Chance, the kid detective duo who act as website hosts. He’s wanted by the police for making copies of original artworks from the New-York Historical Society collection and selling them as originals.
Players earn points and—more importantly—jello by finding the differences between the copies and original works. The game exposes kids to an interesting cross-section of the immense New-York Historical Society collection. Kids also learn a little bit about the history or story of each object as they play the game.
This is an educational game, but learning is motivated by entertaining and sometimes challenging game play and the egging taunts of the sloppy copier. When we tested the game characters that we created for these games with kids though, the real motivation for them was shown to be the opportunity to splatter the sloppy copier with jello.
He’s never actually brought to justice though, and as he slips from the player’s grasp, he departs with the ironic parting salutation, “Bye, and thanks for the Jello.”
Please give Sloppy Copy a try and tell us what you think. We’ll listen very closely if you are between the ages of 7 and 12.
Thanks to Nick for his original music, sound effects, and voice characterizations, Axel for helping us create these endearing characters, Cosmin and Otis for bringing them to life, and Sage for his ingenious interface designs.
Also, a special thanks to Mihai, Bogdan, Manu, Vali, and of course Noro for their dedicated programming help and ideas. Finally, Lisa, Dwan, Hideko, Mona, Brad, Tanya and especially Sarah, whose dedication to this project has made Sloppy Copy real.