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mir4mad
11-17-2008, 01:40 PM
Here is an interesting new article about Elf Island and "good" things to come in the game. Unfortunately, the last sentence states " To actually participate in the Good Quests and receive the full, enhanced experience requires a subscription fee of $5.95 per month."
Hopefully some of that "donation" then will go towards the acts of "good" mirrored in the real world. That would be worth paying for! :goodvibes



Gaming for Good in Elf Island
by Erin Bell (11/17/2008)

Featured Article

When Liz and Craig Kronenberger founded Good Egg Studios about a year ago, they saw a great opportunity to develop a virtual world with redeeming values that could instil social responsibility in a fun and entertaining way. Now, the husband and wife co-founders are seeing the fruits of their labor come to life in the recently launched Elf Island.

Having started a children's entertainment company in the late 1990s, the Kronenbergers had their fingers on the pulse of that industry already, but it wasn't until they noticed the emerging popularity of virtual worlds especially in the kids space that the idea for Elf Island was born.

"Elf Island is a virtual world that allows 'tweens to play games and do good, and we're calling it 'Gaming for Good,' which we feel is a new category in the virtual world space," explained Liz Kronenberger, who in addition to being the co-founder of Good Egg Studios is also its VP of Marketing.

Another term Kronenberger uses to describe Elf Island is that of "mirrored gaming" in other words, the virtual world uses games, storytelling and social interaction to empower kids to make a difference in the real world by working with various non-profit organizations to connect in-game quests with real-world projects.

One example of a partnership is with Habitat for Humanity, where players build virtual homes within the game by collecting supplies with their character in Elf Island, which in turn triggers the building of a home in the real world.

Through photographs and videos, players get to interact with virtual hosts who share their life experiences. In the case of the Habitat for Humanity Good Quest, the host is a child named Jose who shares the fact that he doesn't have a roof over his head, which empowers the player to complete the quest. Once the quest has been completed, Jose will thank the player and show them that he now has a roof over his head, and can sleep peacefully and do his homework, all because of the player's gaming efforts through Elf Island.

According to Kronenberger, the quests in Elf Island will be placed into three different categories: helping people, helping animals, and helping the earth. All of the non-profit partnerships must tie back to one of the categories, and by completing ten good quests, players will unlock a secret.

Elf Island itself is a fantasy-based world, where each player gets an elf avatar that they can personalize with more than 2,000 clothing items, and that have a range of movements including running, jumping, flying and rolling. Players can choose a home and personalize its appearance with animated items from the marketplace, and can also choose a musical theme such as a pirate ship theme or a music box. There are also 42 animals within Elf Island to interact with.

In addition to the immersive Good Quests, the virtual world also offers mini-games for players who want a quick fix of more competitive gameplay. In addition, players have the ability to join tribes, which allows up to 12 kids to come together and participate in Good Quests as a team. Elf Island also has a functioning economy where players can buy, tell, trade and gift items to each other.

So far, Elf Island has partnered with a handful of non-profit organizations, and according to Kronenberger, the involvement and interests of the players will help to determine what new partnerships are established moving forward.

Registration for Elf Island is free, and each player automatically has access to their Elf avatar and other basic services. To actually participate in the Good Quests and receive the full, enhanced experience requires a subscription fee of $5.95 per month.

Belle1997
11-17-2008, 05:53 PM
Funny how these good quest seem to slap good people in the face. I understand the need to raise money but they are also promoting helping the world. Seems everyone should be allowed to learn and grow without paying 5.95 a month. Lets face it these organizations survive becausse of caring individuals. Now the kids they are trying to reach will be in the next decade the ones that donate to these charities. Kind slaps them back in the face. Lets see where will I donate my money. Not that one I could not do there quest as a kid. Very probable.

Also the kids doing these quests have parents who do donate now. And if the kids are actively learning about these oraganization and truly learning to care about others. What parent if funds are available would not want to show there child that there trying through building in a virtual world can mean they can help in real.

So my opinion some good quest should be for all. Thus keeping the spirit of helping humanity, animals, and environment open to all. Still many parents will not pay for internet games. But if they see their child want to make a difference by doing these quest. They might see it differently. And thus pay for membership.

Bugdozer
11-17-2008, 08:15 PM
I for one do not see this as a slap in the face. We have to face the reality here. Disney spoiled us and did us an injustice by keeping the game free. We seem to have grown into this feeling that the games should be free. In today's world that is not going to happen and maybe if Disney had charged from the start we would still have our beloved VMK. There are staff to be paid, team members like graphic designers and server space that need to be paid. If there were not a membership fee then they would have to find a way to raise money to keep the game going. It could mean something like being bombarded with advertisement while playing the game.

I will look at all my choices of games then I will decide what game is right for me and my family and I am willing to pay for the use of the product. I have come to the realization that no online game is going to be free ever again.

Bug

PrincessNoelle
11-17-2008, 10:24 PM
It's just another opportunity to become involved in a game that we can share with people we met in VMK. Plus, there are people who will play this that have never heard of VMK. Disney had no idea what they had their hands on with VMK and still don't. If they had made it pay to play before the announcement that it was going to close, I would have thought they were nuts. There were many good parts to the game but many frustrating parts as well. They would have had to beef up the quality of the game before charging for it. Bottom line is you get what you pay for. (Of course, now I am going to totally contradict myself and say I would pay to play VMK if given the chance lag, bugs and all.)

My only concern is that I am not sure that my daughter will make the connection between doing a quest and helping someone in the real world. Last year at Christmas time, her grandmother made a purchase in my daughter's name through a charitable organization. $5.00 bought a pair of rabbits to help displaced families rebuild. $20.00 stocks and builds a fish farm. $30.00 buys a pig for a family to break the cycle of poverty. I don't think she truly understood the concept. I guess it is going to depend on how it is done in the game. It would be nice to be able to try the quest system before deciding to buy.

aengus
11-18-2008, 07:37 AM
I have asked someone in the game, nameless because this person could not say 100% for sure. It is thought a goodquest will happen during beta.

It would be nice to kick the tires on that before it opens live.

It is a nice article thanks for sharing :)

Belle1997
11-18-2008, 08:31 AM
So my opinion some good quest should be for all. Thus keeping the spirit of helping humanity, animals, and environment open to all. Still many parents will not pay for internet games. But if they see their child want to make a difference by doing these quest. They might see it differently. And thus pay for membership.


Seems some people missed my true point. Keeps some good quest for everyone. Thus allowing parents to see the benefits of their child being involved. I know and said they do need to make money but see it as just as important to keep some quests free. Thus promoting what they are talking about helping each other.

By having some quest exclusive still gives paying members something extra special, as well as being able to buy different rooms or get special items. But does not close the door to any child or family wanting to participate. Especially into days bad economic times. This has nothing to do with pay vs no pay VMK. It has to do with teaching kids about the world around them. So some quest should be open to everyone.

goldengourd
11-18-2008, 09:16 AM
I agree with both of you. Of course it is appropriate for them to charge for the special layers of their game. I think it is great that they also will have a way to play for free, limited of course. I agree that having sample-type quests on the free level would be great. One, or a few, to see how it works, to be able to do at least one if you won't be able to be a paying member. And the proposed subscription cost is nice and low, glad to see that, though it might be different once they finally actually release.
I'm guessing that one of the reasons that the quests are to be by pay subscription only is that is how the money to "donate" to the cause comes from. When you play the virtual good cause quest, then a monetary donation goes to a real world cause. Thus the choices of which quest the kids (players) do the most directly tie into which charity organization gets the most 'help'. I am sure we'll find out eventually once the quests come out.

aengus
11-18-2008, 10:40 AM
I agree with both of you. Of course it is appropriate for them to charge for the special layers of their game. I think it is great that they also will have a way to play for free, limited of course. I agree that having sample-type quests on the free level would be great. One, or a few, to see how it works, to be able to do at least one if you won't be able to be a paying member. And the proposed subscription cost is nice and low, glad to see that, though it might be different once they finally actually release.
I'm guessing that one of the reasons that the quests are to be by pay subscription only is that is how the money to "donate" to the cause comes from. When you play the virtual good cause quest, then a monetary donation goes to a real world cause. Thus the choices of which quest the kids (players) do the most directly tie into which charity organization gets the most 'help'. I am sure we'll find out eventually once the quests come out.

Although we cant be sure yet, it does seem to reason that you probably hit the nail on the head. How else would they be able to support the charities they had mentioned if not from the memberships.

I enjoy the game what we have seen but I am totally looking forward to 3 features we know little about.

Goodquests
Tribes
Collections

BRING IT! :banana: