WGBH seeks funding to produce Search It Up!, a new digital game for young kids and their families. Extending a prototypical video series launched at PBS KIDS July 2020, the project is being developed by WGBH, a national leader in learning games, with humanities scholars and media literacy experts at the Stanford History Education Group, Project Information Literacy, and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
It is available for free, national distribution through public media channels. With dynamic gameplay and special emphasis on digital humanities content and its core skills this project will engage young audiences and their families in a contemporary video-rich game about the internet’s pitfalls and potential.
Prototype Video Examples:
Here are all nine videos that we produced in our pilot phase:
They launched at PBS KIDS July 24 2020 and are also available on YouTube.
In their first ten days they were streamed over one million times across PBS KIDS platforms. They include:
Episode: Searching It Up
Link to Searching it Up on PBS KIDS
Link to Searching It Up on Google Drive
Episode: It’s the Internet
Link to It’s the Internet on PBS KIDS
Link to It’s the Internet on Google Drive
Episode: Ask an Expert
Link to Ask an Expert on PBS KIDS
Link to Ask an Expert on Google Drive
Episode: Buy Things Now
Link to Buy Things Now on PBS KIDS
Link to Buy Things Now on Google Drive
Video: Search Example from Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius
Here is one of the 25 videos we produced for this earlier project and which have helped inform this new one, Search It Up!
Link to Searching video on PBS KIDS website
Prototype Game Examples:
The following examples show how we can make linear video interactive and how we can create a playful avatar of our cast to allow us to use them as engaging puppets for programmatically served in-game audio.
Game: Linear Demo of Fake/Real Quiz (as if in Interactive Format)
Link to Fake/Real demo on Google Drive
Game: Test Animation for In-Game Programmatic Video
Link to Test Animation on Google Drive
Game: Quiz Game Example from Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius
Here we show how we can transform a basic quiz format into an age-appropriate and fun review opportunity as well as provide an opportunity for transferable skills. Each of our initial videos was supported in this way.
Link to Searching Quiz game on PBS KIDS website
Logo, Line Art, and Typography Examples
Prototype Extension Materials:
Depending on resources we create complementary material for families and for educators. These are available in a wide variety of formats, from in-app pages to webpages, to messages shared on social media. Here are examples from the Ruff project:
Link to Parent Materials at PBS KIDS website
Link to Educator Materials at PBS Learning Media website
As described in the Design Document, rapid prototyping helps isolate and solve UI and UX questions without committing extensive resources. Search It Up! has evolved in two main prototype iterations:
Prototype One: The first was our development and distribution of PBS KIDS’s first substantial media literacy project, Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius.
Prototype Two: Lessons learned carried into our second prototype, a series pilot for Search It Up! (below) funded by the Internet Essentials group at Comcast. Here we developed an innovative improvisational style in working in largely unscripted ways with real kids, not actors.
Search It Up! Wireframe: