HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences


Leave a comment

Monster High

Monster High 1Monster High is a doll line aimed at girls. It focuses on a group of girls who are presented as cute, age-appropriate versions of classic movie monsters. The Mattel created toy line has gained a significant boost in popularity due to a webisode series. 

Monster High is a fashion doll franchise released by Mattel in the July, 2010. The characters are inspired by monster movies, sci-fi horror, and thriller fiction. The Monster High franchise also includes other consumer products such as stationery, bags, key chains, and various other toys. There are also Monster High TV specials, a web series, a direct to DVD movie, game software, and a Monster High young adult novel series, created by Lisi Harrison.

There are two Monster High themed video games (Nintendo DS, Wii). On the Monster High website users can access games, character bios, and several other activities. Monster High webisodes (short, episodic, online episodes which typically last around two minutes), viewable on the site, regularly attract at least 500,000 views and often more than 1 million. With an audience like that, Mattel also has fertile ground for promoting the latest Monster High toy releases. In Mattel’s most recent Q3 financial results (2011), girls’ brands were up 57 per cent, ‘primarily driven by Monster High’.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

LEGO computer games

Lego computer games 1Lego computer games are a series of digital games featuring characters and worlds modeled after corresponding Lego toys. The games utilize this modular logic of the world in its structure and humor. Since 2005, all major Lego games have been developed by TT Games.

Lego has been releasing software based on the Lego bricks since 1997, starting with Lego Island. Since 2005, the development of Lego games has been licensed exclusively to TT Games. These newer games, starting with Lego Star Wars: The Video Game (2005), are a series of adventure games, mainly aimed at younger players, featuring digital counterparts of the familiar Lego toy figures, locations, vehicles, and worlds. Notably, games employ the constructional form of the toys to great effect in their writing, design, and lighthearted humor. A car crashing in to a wall for example will break down to Lego pieces and can be constructed again.

Majority of the games are based on existing third party licenses such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones. Excluding Lego City Undercover, which was developed by TT Fusion, all the games have been developed by Travellel’s Tales, one of TT Games’ three internal divisions.  LCU is the first game to be published by Nintendo, rather than an independent publisher such as WB Games or LucasArts, and the first game in the series to feature defined characters (Chase McCain) developed primarily for a Lego computer game (though, for example, Ninjago games are based on Lego’s internal toy IP).


Leave a comment

Mechatars

Mechatars 1Mechatars is an interactive toy robot and a free virtual online game. Mechatar robot is a remote controlled toy that can both be used for completing missions and challenges against friends in the physical world, but also used to connect to the Mechatars online game.

With a Mechatar robot, kids are able to drive their toy around with the included remote control, complete offline missions and challenge their friends to online and offline Mechatar battles. Mechatars evolve both in and out of the virtual world. When you fight a friend, either online or in the real world, your robot gains experience points and becomes more skilled.  Speed, damage, defense, and other traits are taken into account. There are also attachable weapons available for purchase, which will also show up online when you connect your Mechatar Robot via the included cable. The bots are compatible with Mac and PC. Those without a robot can still play the online game for free. In the online game players can customize their avatars, earn or buy weapons and armor, and perform missions against the nemesis of the game, the Swarm. The primary location in the virtual world is the arena, where players spend their competitive time gaining experience and special attacks they then can download to their Mechatar.


Leave a comment

Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Leather Goddesses of Phobos (1986), Infocom’s first “sex farce” PC game, is an interactive fiction computer game. Among other notable features, it included puzzles that were nearly impossible to solve without hints from the accompanying add-on materials (the so-called “feelies”).

Written by Steve Meretzky, LGoP was released in 1986 for most computers of the day. Famously, the game featured selectable “naughtiness” levels ranging from “tame” to “lewd”. The game featured no copy protection as such, but like many Infocom games, it included puzzles that were nearly impossible to solve without hints from the accompanying add-on materials, the “feelies”, delivered within the game box. Among others, these included a small scratch and sniff card which bore seven numbered areas. At certain points in the game, the player would be instructed to scratch a certain number and then whiff the resulting odor. Despite being a “sex-farce”, the included scents were relatively innocuous, such as pizza and chocolate. Second, the game came with a 3-D comic book, The Adventures of Lane Mastodon (complete with 3-D glasses) which contained vital hints to the game. Other vital clues yielded a double-sided map of a specific game area. These creative measures on copy protection earned Leather Goddesses a SPA Excellence in Software Award for Best Software Packaging in 1987.