The League of Extraordinary Bloggers: Adventures in Asia
By Kellian Adams
In a U.S. national tour, the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series supported the creation of five traveling exhibits, each focused on one Asian culture representing the countries of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Each exhibit was designed by a U.S. children’s museum and will subsequently travel to a minimum of eight additional children’s museums—at least forty-five venues total—reaching more than two million visitors. The League of Extraordinary Bloggers App was created to build on and extend the exhibit experiences and connect all visitors with a broader realm of resources for exploring Asian cultures.
The app was developed primarily as a pre and post visit activity, a resource for families looking for a content rich, age-appropriate introduction to four Asian cultures. The goal was to develop a framework that provides a strong modular experience with access points for users regardless of whether they have visited a Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series exhibition. “In our globally networked world, Asia is ever more important in our lives,” said Leslie Swartz, Senior VP Boston Children’s Museum. “It is vitally important that we make it possible for young people around the world to develop skills and attitudes for learning about one another.”
The League of Extraordinary Bloggers introduces teen agents from each country, and together they attempt to solve the mission, and in the course of the game, explore the capital city, learn about the many sites, about the languages, numbers and how the currency works. The compelling storyline encourages users to gather clues, take on the challenges and follow the blogs of their fellow “agents”. The manga-style artwork features a cool Asian aesthetic and highlights the individual personalities of each of the agents, while reducing stereotypes of kids in Asia.
“The app, League of Extraordinary Bloggers, provides children—especially older youth with active online lives—a developmentally-appropriate and engaging way to explore the cultural histories and icons introduced in the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series exhibits,” said Gail Ringel, Project Director, Association of Children’s Museums. “Even more exciting, the app allows users to extend their experience well beyond the visit and the particular country highlighted in the one exhibit they are likely to visit. Given the experience’s framing as a multilayered adventure, we hope that this will be an activity older youth and parents visit again and again to enrich their understanding of Asian cultures.”
Additionally, the game also offers information about each of the exhibits and their touring schedule, to facilitate visiting the producing and host children’s museums.
Developed by Boston Children’s Museum, The Children’s Museum of Houston, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, and the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose all contributed content and advice for the app.
Kellian Adams Pletcher is the Founder and Mastermind of Green Door Labs, a company that works on mobile, educational games for informal education spaces like museums, libraries and civic organizations. Kellian has worked with great big organizations like Education First, Boston University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as great small organizations, startups and nonprofits, helping them discover their new media capabilities even on tight, nonprofit budgets. Green Door Labs is also known for its Edventure Builder, a non-programming platform for building mobile games. Check out Kellian’s adventures and follow the blog at www.greendoorlabs.com or www.edventurebuilder.com.