If you are building a virtual education or online education play, you probably worry about relevancy. You have to fight against two camps of thought: people who think that virtual education or gaming education is a distraction from the real world of reading, writing and arithematic; and people who think that gaming education or online learning has no impact on the real lives of people.
I just found MiniMonos, an online education game for boys with a twist.
Buy a virtual good inside the game and you contribute to a clean water supply for kids in India (14,000+ days to date), as well as adopting orangutans, supporting wild tigers, and other feel-good rewards. There are also in-world rewards for real-world eco-actions.
Why boys? Disney tends to target boys with TV shows as girls will happily watch boys’ shows, but not vice versa. But online, there’s lots of entertainment for girls, but not much for boys. So if you capture the boys online, you bring the girls along with them, thus increasing the value of the company.
Its four main countries are the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand; memberships is driven through natural traffic (word of mouth), Google Adwords, the Miniclip games aggregator site, and PR, via primarily kids’ television. The company has just launched TV commercials in the UK and will launch branded prepaid cards in Sainsbury’s in the UK in October.