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The Definitive Guide to Interactive Design for Kids

Renowned Children’s Software Creator Mark Schlichting, Understanding Kids, Play and Interactive Design, Reveals the Secrets of Great Interactive Design for Kids

San Francisco, September 6, 2016 – NoodleWorks Interactive, an award-winning interactive design group specializing in children’s educational and entertainment software, announces Mark Schlichting’s new book Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design: How to Create Games Children Love, which fills a gap in the publishing landscape by focusing not only on the technical aspects of design, but on the way children think, learn, and play. It is the only book that examines the ways play instincts and child development connect with the most basic elements of design.

Stuart Brown, Founder and President of the National Institute for Play, raves, “This book belongs on every kids’ play/game designer’s bedside table. [It] is the magnum opus of a creative lifetime, full of usable details framed in engaging and visually captivating formats. It pioneers the blend of ever present technology with culture-enhancing guidance for the next generation of play-savvy designers.”

Jesse Schell, author of the bestselling book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, wrote in the Foreward to the book, “Fortunately for us, Mark Schlichting has created this marvelous book. By understanding and thoughtfully explaining what children do in the Kingdom of Play, and how and why they do it, Mark has provided a wonderful resource to those of us who would create fresh, invigorating playthings.”

This comprehensive guide is for anyone involved in developing interactive games and play experiences for children. It is loaded with tips, tricks, and insights into what turns a simple tap or click into a magical interchange. From useful research and practical lessons learned through decades of working with children to using animation and audio to get and hold attention, this volume addresses both technical and theoretical aspects of design for children.

“I am excited to share my 30 years of design experience as a gift to the next generation of developers and designers to help them create wonderful interactive products for kids everywhere,” said Mark Schlichting, founder and CEO of NoodleWorks Interactive. “The secret to highly engaging interaction is to unravel the essence of a play experience to create interactive content that taps into and supports underlying natural play patterns.”

PURCHASE HERE!

Mark will be speaking about his book at the forthcoming Digital Kids Summit in San Francisco, September 13-14, 2016. He is also a scheduled speaker at Dust or Magic, November 6-8, 2016, and will make an appearance at CES 2017 Kids@Play Summit, January 5-8, 2017. The book will be available for general sale on November 4, 2016.

For review copies or to schedule an interview with Mark, please contact Barbara Chase, bc@noodleworks.com.

Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design: How to Create Games Children Love. – San Francisco, Let’s Play Press.
ISBN-13: 978-0-9969185-1-0
Pages: 412, Full Color

Publication Date: 11/04/2016

About NoodleWorks Interactive

NoodleWorks Interactive, founded by Mark Schlichting in 2000, is an award-winning interactive design group specializing in design and creation of children’s educational and entertainment products and services. We believe the best learning comes effortlessly through engaged play. Adding the magic of intrinsic play and deep exploration are key components of our design philosophy.

About Mark Schlichting

Mark Schlichting (pronounced “Shh-lick-ting”) is an internationally known speaker and pioneer of the children’s multimedia and interactive design industry with over 30 years of design, publishing, and creative management experience. One of the first interactive CD-ROM designers, Mark created Brøderbund’s Living Books series, considered by many in the industry to be the benchmark for engaging educational multimedia. He brings a holistic approach and a deep respect for children to his work, advocating for the value of play in children’s learning. Mark continues to innovate with design for iOS and other platforms, and his recent app for emerging readers, Noodle Words — Actions, won accolades from Children’s Technology Review and The New York Times.

For more information: www.noodleworks.com

Media Contact: Barbara Chase, bc@noodleworks.com

Endorsements for
Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design by Mark Schlichting

“Fortunately for us, Mark Schlichting has created this marvelous book. By understanding and thoughtfully explaining what children do in the Kingdom of Play, and how and why they do it, Mark has provided a wonderful resource to those of us who would create fresh, invigorating playthings.” —Jesse Schell, CEO, Schell Games; Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology, Carnegie Mellon University; author of The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

“Mark Schlichting’s book, Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design, combines deep wisdom about kids at play; comprehensive, clear (rare) understanding of play and “play science;” and the manifold practical routes to interactive game design. It is the magnum opus of a creative lifetime, full of usable details framed in engaging and visually captivating formats. As one steeped in the biology of play and its necessity for overall human well-being, Mark’s book pioneers the blend of ever present technology with culture-enhancing guidance for the next generation of play-savvy designers. Belongs on every kids’ play/game designer’s bedside table.” —Stuart Brown, M.D., Founder and President, The National Institute for Play; author of Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

“Children play in order to have fun, not to learn; but learning is the side effect that, from an evolutionary perspective, is play’s purpose. In this book, Mark Schlichting reveals a remarkably sophisticated and accessible understanding of play, learning, and children, including differences among children related to age, gender, culture, and personality. This book will go a long way toward connecting game designers to the minds of children.” ­—Peter Gray, Ph.D., Research Professor of Developmental Psychology, Boston College; author of Free to Learn: Why Releasing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life.

“For over 25 years, Mark Schlichting has been an indispensable voice in children’s media. To those of us who’ve had the pleasure to know him, he has been a voice of wisdom and reason. To those lucky children who have discovered the products he’s created, his voice has been one of playfulness, surprise, and supreme silliness. In Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design, Mark sets out the principles that have animated his work, starting with the deepest respect for the power and passion children bring to their play, and following up with a fierce determination to create digital spaces where that play flourishes. We will all benefit from the clear, well-argued, and generous way he shares his wisdom with the next generation of designers.” —Scot Osterweil, game designer, Creative Director, the Education Arcade, MIT

“This book must be in every children’s interactive designer’s library. In fact, every interactive designer should read it.  .  .  a few times.” —Warren Buckleitner, Ph.D., Editor, Children’s Technology Review

“TeachersWithApps has had the honor and privilege of working directly with Mark Schlichting on several projects. He brings a wealth of knowledge, insight, and passion to everything he touches. Every page of Mark’s new book brings another ‘aha moment,’ and I thought I knew a bit about children’s digital space. This book is the bible and a must read for anyone involved in any area related to children, education, and technology.” —Jayne Clare, special education teacher, Co-Founder, TeachersWithApps

“Mark Schlichting’s new book, Understanding Kids, Play, and Interactive Design, is a fantastic resource— the best I’ve ever seen—for interactive designers and others who want to understand play and learning. Mark is a master creator of great interactive experiences. He’s dazzled us for decades with his really funny, endearing products. Now we can learn how he does it. Mark is thorough, precise, and incredibly generous to share his secrets of success. Reading Mark’s book, I want to go create new apps, better than any I’ve created before. Hats off to Mark! Don’t miss this book if you want to create great games children will love. It’s a classic that teachers and others should have.” —Ann H. McCormick, Founder of The Learning Company and Co-Founder of Learning Circle Kids

“Despite what the rest of the world believes, developing successful and engaging interactive products for children is anything but easy. I’ve worked in the children’s interactive profession all of my adult life, and with every passing year have asked why a singular guiding source on how to make engaging interactive products for children does not exist. Finally the industry has a great new book, rich with professional best practices, case studies, and helpful advice from seasoned professionals. With Mark’s new book, the children’s industry takes one giant step forward, and end users around the world can’t wait for the results!” —Scott Traylor, Founder, CEO, 360KID

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