Enterprise Computing Conference #SaveDisneyInfinity Story

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Enterprise Computing Conference #SaveDisneyInfinity Story

Postby goofyspaceranger » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:09 pm

I attended the 8th-annual ECC at Marist College these past couple days, where I was fortunate enough to speak on my day-job of mainframe cybersecurity & my corp. citizenship fun with Disney Infinity. It resonated with both the educators & the Marist Comp Sci/IT students who were helping to run the conference. And of course I gave everyone the link for the petition. Several of them mentioned Disney Infinity during the student/intern/newhire panel session the next day, when asked about inspiring more students, both male & female, to STEM-related majors & careers. It wasn't the only idea floated about (I wouldn't have expected it to be). But it resonated. It was heartwarming for me, listening to their feedback at this last session of the conference.

But there's another story from this conference told to me by a fellow IBMer that I found even more compelling...

She did not attend my talk because she'd heard me give a similar one before. Her son, who is 8, attended one of our seasonal Toy Box Club programs at the local library. I have not met her son; our team of volunteers expanded once we started the after-school Toy Box Club at the P-Tech school. He loved the Innovation Isles Toy Box Tutorial. After the program finished, he had a sizable amount of money saved up, and he decided to purchase a PS4 & a 3.0 Starter Pack (granted, that is a big purchase for an 8-year-old, but his parents understood the value of the Toy Box and they allowed it). This was after just 8 sessions at the library with a single tutorial Toy Box teaching him how to program with a handful of Creativi-Toys. He has several friends who already had Infinity, but they had no idea what the Toy Box was. They found the Disney Infinity menu confusing and had focused on the Play Sets. He has them over to his house regularly now, so that he can show them how to program different toys. They love it. They play for hours in the Toy Box now. He has been purchasing more of his favorite characters when he can. All of his purchases began after Disney Infinity was already cancelled. His mom did not know until I told her two days ago.

What do you see from this true story? This is what I see...
- Many Disney Infinity players (& parents & educators) do not yet know what the Toy Box is or what it can do
- Many Disney Infinity players (& parents & educators) do not yet know that Disney Infinity has been cancelled
- The current menu system still makes it confusing to find the Toy Box
- The Toy Box is not only the educational part, it is the most fun, the most valuable part, of the Disney Infinity product
- Advocating the educational value of the Toy Box drives sales

To whomever is considering the reboot of the Toy Box, imagine scaling this visibility of the Toy Box's educational value. Look at what the official website has now in its note to parents (without a note to educators at all), how much it downplays the robust creative programming environment of the Toy Box engine. Imagine a reference to IBM's ODC YouTube channel for example, where the IBM rebus logo in Toy Box block art at the end of each walkthrough provides the reminder of the IBM brand's advocacy of the Toy Box's value. Imagine enough tutorials to cover all Creativi-Toys. Imagine a free "THINK Infinity" mobile app from IBM to provide a quick reference to those programming interfaces. Imagine Toy Box Clubs springing up at libraries & schools, and kids simply downloading the #ToyBoxTutorial boxes for in-game learning from Community Content. It would drive sales. It would drive more free content to further bolster a subscription-based pricing model. All IBM On Demand Community content (to the best of my knowledge) is free; it adds no cost. Are you IN?

P.S. Did I mention that this new Creativi-Toy programming teacher is 8 ?!! 8-)
Use the Force in Holocron Heuristics to program with more Creativi-Toys!
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