May 18, 2010 |
With his gaze fixed on a tiny screen, hearing plugged by earbuds and fingers flying, the average teenager may look like a disaster in the making: socially stunted, terminally distracted and looking for trouble. But look beyond the dizzying array of beeping, buzzing devices and the incessant multitasking, say psychologists, and today's digital kids may not be such a disaster after all. Far from hampering adolescents' social skills or putting them in harm's way, as many parents have feared, electronics appear to be the path by which children today develop emotional bonds, their own identities, and an ability to communicate and work with others.
October 4, 2010 |
Two years after Walt Disney Co. merged its video game and Internet units to better coordinate the operations, the entertainment company said Sunday that it would divide the responsibilities for its Interactive Media Group under two newly appointed co-presidents. John Pleasants, a veteran new media executive who joined the company with Disney's acquisition this summer of Playdom, will oversee the games business, including online, console, social and mobile play. He will also continue to operate Playdom, the publisher of games for social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.
September 9, 2009 |
Continuing to bring in creative talent and properties from the outside, Walt Disney Co. has hired Alex Seropian, a founder of the company behind the hit series Halo, as the creative head for its video game division. In addition, Disney is acquiring Wideload Games, the development studio he runs. The deal comes just a week after Disney agreed to buy Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion. In 2007 it acquired online virtual world Club Penguin for $350 million. Lane Merrifield, the general manager of Club Penguin, is now working on other online projects for the company.
December 10, 2007 |
Atop the Nickelodeon studios in Burbank is a larger-than-life cavalcade of the cable network's signature animated characters. SpongeBob SquarePants is up there. So is Dora the Explorer, as well as a handful of others. Joining them soon, hope the network's executives, will be Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private -- the raucously comic penguins from the DreamWorks Animation film "Madagascar." Thanks to their Viacom Inc.
August 30, 2008 |
The newspaper industry is constantly bewailing its need for a new economic model, as the Internet upends the old one. Maybe it could take a page from the Club Penguin Times. The Club Penguin Times, after all, is more widely read than New York's Daily News, the Chicago Tribune or the Dallas Morning News. And it's not even 3 years old. But this weekly "newspaper" isn't tossed onto driveways or sold at newsstands. Rather, it's an online publication distributed to the estimated 6.7 million monthly users of Club Penguin, a snow-covered virtual world visited by more than 12 million kids, who adopt a colorful penguin persona and waddle around, playing games and meeting new friends.
February 24, 2010 |
Walt Disney Co. believes that World of Cars, its new subscription-based online community aimed at boys and based on the Pixar movie "Cars," won't get lost in the traffic of virtual worlds. Things are already a bit congested. Some 200 virtual worlds target children under 12. Each competes for a slice of the 10 hours and 45 minutes a day the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that kids spend viewing media, simultaneously vying for screen time against a growing number of portable media players and smart phones that offer their own diversions.