SmartyCard Learn-Earn-Play Games Service Offers More Rewards From Most Popular Virtual Worlds for Kids and Tweens

March 26, 2009

SmartyCard’s platform emerging as fluid currency for parents, kids and virtual worlds

SAN MATEO, Calif., March 26 /PRNewswire/ – SmartyCard(TM), the world’s first learn-earn-and-play online games service for tweens, has quickly become a tool for parents who want their tweens to earn access to some of the most popular virtual worlds online today. SmartyCard’s unique system allows kids to earn points by playing interactive educational games and quizzes, which are then redeemed for popular real-world and virtual-world rewards. SmartyCard currently has a catalog of over 200 real and virtual rewards to earn and purchase, and after a fast start, company data shows nearly 85 percent of the points have been redeemed for virtual-world prizes.

“One of the fundamental attractions of SmartyCard is the breadth of available real-world and virtual-world rewards for tweens,” said Chris Carvalho, general manager, SmartyCard. “We expected that the majority of initial rewards earned through SmartyCard would fall in the category of access to virtual worlds and we’re excited that our expectations have been validated by real people using SmartyCard.com to earn rewards. We’re confident that the new partners we’re adding now and in the future will continue to enjoy popularity with our customers.”

Industry experts are watching this trend closely, especially as SmartyCard adds more featured virtual-world selections to the rewards catalog. Robin Raskin, publisher of popular site Raising Digital Kids, supports the idea that kids now have a means to earn the virtual-world subscriptions their parents are already buying for them.

“Kids can use SmartyCard to learn how to purchase their own virtual stuff, and their currency is learning. Additionally, a virtual reward lets them personalize how they decide to spend. This makes them better consumers of all media,” said Raskin.

Real and virtual reward selections

SmartyCard currently has nine virtual world featured selections. The services comprising the virtual world selections include:

Bella Sara is an inspirational, horse-themed trading cards and magical online world that offers interactive stables, games and activities, puzzles, coloring pages, interactive storybooks, customizable cottages, and more to girls ages five and up.

Cartoon Doll Emporium is a virtual play land for tweens that features the largest collection of original cartoon dolls online and also features arcade games, cute pictures, contests, a forum, and one of the most unique social networks online.

ClubPenguin(TM), a division of Disney Online, is a snow-covered, virtual island that offers fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. Children can explore, play games, create and interact in a fun-filled, online playground guided by an unwavering commitment to safety.

Digital Doll House is a virtual world where kids can use their creativity and self-expression to design the house of their dreams. They have to ability to choose from hundreds of mini furniture pieces, pets, dolls and decor elements and transform an empty house into a place of beauty again and again.

Elf Island is the first virtual world to use gaming, storytelling and social interaction to empower kids to make a positive difference in the real world.

Planet Cazmo is a music-inspired, outerspace-themed virtual world featuring celebrity concerts and environments, parties, videos, games, rich characters and stories. It connects tweens and young teens from over 170 countries around the world in a safe, moderated online environment.

Stardoll is a premier virtual fashion entertainment destination on the Web for young women focused on fame, fashion and friends and a virtual paperdoll community site for everyone who enjoys fashion, design and making friends. Stardoll’s 28 million users build stunning likenesses of themselves, hone their creatively and browse an extensive collection of garments, accessories and other virtual goods from a variety of real world brands, create their own MeDoll or choose from a growing collection of celebrity dolls and dress them up in a wide selection of fashions.

Webkinz are loveable plush pets that each come with a unique secret code that allows users enter Webkinz World and play with a virtual version of their pet.

ZooKazoo is an online environment of imaginary and adventurous destinations where children 6 through 12 can safely hang out, have fun, and even make their world a better place.

Tweens can also earn more than 200-plus real-world rewards, including: iTunes, Wii Games, popular books, movies and DVDs.

What virtual world companies are saying about SmartyCard

“SmartyCard has developed a remarkably creative and positive way for tweens to learn and to have fun doing so,” said Matt Palmer, executive vice president and general manager at Stardoll. “We are excited to collaborate with them and believe that the 12 million users who visit the Stardoll community each month will enjoy what SmartyCard has to offer.”

“SmartyCard is redefining the way kids learn through technology,” said Evan Bailyn, CEO of Cartoon Doll Emporium (CDE). “They understand the kind of rewards kids really desire nowadays, which are quite different from what kids were asking for even five years ago. That is why CDE believes so strongly in its partnership with SmartyCard.”

“Elf Island’s partnership with SmartyCard gives us another opportunity to grow and expand our user base through a new channel where we know tweens are active online,” said Craig Kronenberger, co-founder and president at Elf Island. “The relationship with SmartyCard is win-win, and we are excited to bring Elf Island’s Gaming for Good to tweens who have earned their way to play.”

“We are thrilled to partner Bella Sara fans with SmartyCard to further their educational growth in a fun, interactive manner,” said Dell Monson, senior director of marketing for Hidden City Games. “This partnership not only rewards children, but it reassures parents with their children’s educational growth.”

“SmartyCard is a terrific combination of educational content, easy to use interface and wonderful graphic design,” said Jesyca C. Durchin, CEO and founder of Digital Dollhouse/Digital PlaySpace. “As both parents and software developers, we are excited to be involved with SmartyCard and feel it is going to be a great platform for our business and more importantly something we can recommend to our friends for their kids too.”

“Planet Cazmo’s partnership with SmartyCard is an amazing chance for us to expand our rapidly growing user base, and expose new tweens and young teens to Cazmo’s many exciting features, including our virtual concerts with major music acts and virtual goods,” said Michael Levine, president and founder of Planet Cazmo. “Cazmo is dedicated to a safe online environment and our relationship with SmartyCard is a great way for kids to earn their way to play there.”

“ZooKazoo is thrilled to be teaming up with SmartyCard,” said David Dwyer, COO at ZooKazoo. “When choosing ZooKazoo, kids will be rewarded with countless adventures and fun interactions where the learning continues.”

About SmartyCard games and rewards

Through SmartyCard, children explore subjects via quizzes and problem sets, pursuing point values awarded according to level of difficulty and contingent upon answering seven-out-of-ten activity questions correctly. SmartyCard lesson content is homegrown and developed in partnership with several leading online educational content providers to ensure that SmartyCard games engage kids in a learning experience that encourages imaginative thinking outside of the classroom. Parents fund these activities by buying and depositing points directly into their child’s account. Friends, family and parents can buy points for a child through SmartyCard virtual cards, and, starting later this year, SmartyCard gift cards will be available for purchase at retail through big box retailers and major grocery store and drug store chains.

About SmartyCard

SmartyCard is the first learn-earn-and-play experience to provide real and virtual rewards to tens of millions of families that believe learning at home can be fun and rewarding. Utilizing homegrown games and educational content from industry leaders, SmartyCard gives families the opportunity to engage in fun and interactive online games, quizzes and lessons. As kids learn, they earn and redeem points for popular rewards from popular online destinations like iTunes(R), ClubPenguin(TM), WebKinz, Stardoll, Bella Sara, and many more. SmartyCard’s online learn-and-earn approach to education reinforces the universal value of hard work and steers children towards a lifetime of educational achievement and success. SmartyCard is a Gazillion, Inc. company. To learn more or to begin playing, visit www.smartycard.com.

SmartyCard is a trademark of Gazillion, Inc. All other trademarks and copyright terms are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE SmartyCard

Source: newswire

comments powered by Disqus