My “inaanak” (Filipino for “godson”), Egbert, had his birthday party last Saturday. He’s turning 5 on Aug. 10. I got him a rubber dinosaur and a portable game gadget (the cheap ones) for his present. The gagdet contained some 20 simple, retro games — the stuff I played myself all those years ago. He was absolutely thrilled and I was delighted he approved of the gift ;-). I knew he would like those simple, colorful games, but what I didn’t expect was how he became fascinated by the game music and tones. He started playing, but after a few minutes, proclaimed that the music was very cool. He then turned it on its back and put it next to his ear so he can hear the music better. It remined me how I used a handheld radio. He was clearly entertained by the music and listened intently to it. Before he went to sleep he said it was exactly what he wished for. Ah, to be a kid again 😉
I never thought that my gift would be good for anything other than playing. I know music plays a big role in more serious games. You can download the themes or upload your own music to heighten your gaming experience. I didn’t expect that it can also be exciting for a kid. I realised that if a larger group had the same experience as Egbert, then perhaps it would make sense to develop a portable game that could also function as a music player. Maybe have a music only mode, then kids can simply attach earphones to it or just turn it on highger so his/her playmates can listen to it too. Or let kids go to the product website and download the music.
A lot of possibilities can be explored that can not only expand the product life cycle, but also enhance children’s experience with portable game players.