The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Gro Play has designed three steps that successively bring up different environment issues and aspects in a logical way. All Gro Play products fall in under one of these three educational steps.
STEP 1 introduces happenings and elements that are good or bad for the environment. For instance pollution and litter are harmful to the environment, whilst windmills and bins are not etc.
STEP 2 works on developing the understanding of how cause and effect are related. For instance, pollution increases, the temperature rises, ices melt, polar bears lose their homes.
STEP 3 makes the borders between the play world, real world and virtual word disappear. Our concept ideas for this step are still under development.
OUR DESIGN = DURABLE PLAY, EMOTION, QUALITY, AND THINKING
From a sustainability perspective, toys and games need to meet the following four criteria according to Gro Play:
DURABLE PLAY - toy shall allow the user to be flexible and creative in their play. It should be possible to play solo, two, or in groups.
DURABLE EMOTION - The toy is emotionally durable when it evokes positive feelings for a long time and contributes to many memorable moments. The toy should be interesting and entertaining for a long time.
DURABLE QUALITY - The game should not be interrupted because of quality deficiencies. Materials, manufacturing and transportation chosen so as to minimize environmental stress and will take into account fair labor.
DURABLE THINKING – All our products have underlying eco educational focus, that aim to develop the users’ sustainable thinking.
We like easy learning. We can achieve the greatest effect if we can engage not only the already eco-conscious and “eco-blessed” people in the learning process. If we can also engage those who have no clue what “sustainable development “ is, or how a metal can on the ground can do to wild life, we are on our way to achieve great things!
Today we have six physical and one digital product. One of our products is a double-layered puzzle game. The bottom layer shows a polluted environment full of garbage. The whole point is to cover this nasty illustration with puzzle pieces showing a clean and healthy environment, where people take responsibility for their waste. The little rhymes on the backside of the pieces can help any adult to get started.
As mentioned before, we believe we need to be commercial and attractive for a large crowd in order to reach our vision. An example on that is that our board game about recycling and consumption, could have been a game only appreciated by the eco-crowd, but received 4 out of 5 from both Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet, the two of the largest newspapers in Sweden which year make a big board game testing.
During our product development we regularly test prototypes on children, gather focus groups with parents and educators to collect their insights and stay up to date on what happens in our industry. We are continuouesly expanding our expert panel, in which we have experts in different fields like energy, biology, pedagogy, etc.
GETTING INTO SCHOOLS – Last spring we had almost a quarter million pre-school children play our game. That was though a very successful collaboration we had together with the foundation Håll Sverige Rent (HSR [Keep Sweden Tidy]). Gro Play and HSR developed a material together (a puzzle game and a handbook) that was distributed to all pre-schools that participated in HSR’s annual campaign “Skräpplockardagarna” (Garbage Picking Days). The aim was to give both children and educators a tool to help learn about littering in a fun and simple way though out the whole year, and not only during the campaign week. HSR’s survey (with almost 1000 participants) show the material was highly appreciated among both children and educators. The survey also showed that the educators saw the material actually worked and that children took their own initiatives both at the school and at home.
Since public schools have limited purchase possibilities. They are obliged to purchase from companies that has procurements with their municipality. By starting to sell though Aba Skol we have opened up the possibility of getting hold of our products to a lot more schools. By offering recycling companies to put their logo on our board game we have made our products even more attractive for them. They appreciate having a fun, attractive and yet recycling-related product to give out to classes when they come on study-visits. We need to keep up finding more ways to get to schools environments.
BEING WHERE THE KIDS ARE – Today even 2-year olds play digital games on smart boards. The digital app market is a great B2C arena in which we have a great opportunity in reaching our target group, and really stand out. We launched our first digital app (a beta version) and were surprised it was downloaded almost 30.000 times in one year, only in Sweden (it was made in Swedish). This gives a hint of the great potential in continuing in the digital direction, were the next step for us is to launch a language-free games to hit a larger market and reach more children. (Planned launch: May 2012)