NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — It’s an all-new ball game with today’s launch of FunGoPlay, the first virtual world to bridge the gap between offline and online play. Targeted at 6-11 year old boys and girls, the online sports theme park uses connected FunGoPlay Sports Gear — a soccer ball and flying disk at launch — to track play periods and reward kids in the online world.
At its core, FunGoPlay is a humorous and light-hearted online sports world that offers kids fun games, funny characters and fully customizable avatars combined with ample rewards and achievements. When children come to the world, they can explore a huge theme park filled with sports ranging from football, baseball, basketball and soccer to extreme sports like snowboarding, skateboarding and even lumberjacking! Fun mini-games along with more elaborate single and multiplayer games will take kids on awesome adventures letting them do everything from hitting a grand slam, fighting a giant hot dog run amok or escaping a massive Yeti in a downhill snowboarding thrill ride.
What separates FunGoPlay from the pack is the use of its connected sports gear, which comes with monthly, 3-month and annual subscriptions. The flying disk and soccer ball use motion detection electronics to measure play periods and then reward gamers within the online world. Every seven minutes of play generates a code that translates into a slew of in-game bonuses, points and power-ups.
“FunGoPlay provides an active, fun and positive social experience in both the real and virtual worlds,” said FunGoPlay President, David Jacobs. “We created FunGoPlay because there’s no sports entertainment brand that speaks directly to kids and we thought it was important to incentivize active play. We’re catering to an age group that is going to form much of its exercise habits now and we want to make physical activity a fun and completely different experience.”
FunGoPlay is entering the digital space as online gaming grows along with obesity rates for kids across the country. Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in America is overweight or obese*. This makes the need to introduce activities that use virtual avenues to encourage real world play all the more crucial.
Research shows that 91% of kids (approximately 64 million) 2-17 are gaming in the US** with a projection that 46 percent of all 3-11 year olds will play in virtual worlds in 2011***. This demographic will be one segment of a market that will hit 20 million during this same year+.
Online safety is of paramount importance to FunGoPlay. The company has partnered up with Metaverse Mod Squad, the industry-leading kids’ online safety and community experts, to help manage and grow the site’s online community while providing a safe and engaging environment for kids. The site will also soon expand into mobile platforms allowing kids to play anytime, anywhere.
FunGoPlay offers kids access at a variety of levels. The site is always open and free for all visitors, but to fully explore the world and take advantage of the FunGoPlay Sports Gear there are multiple subscription options. A monthly subscription of $6.95 will include the flying disk, while a 3-month subscription for $18.95 will include the soccer ball. For a $59.95 annual membership, kids will receive both the flying disk and soccer ball. All costs include shipping and handling. For more information on FunGoPlay, visit www.fungoplay.com .
* Letsmove.org**NPD Kids & Gaming 2011 Report ***eMarketer, April 2009+Kzero, 2009
FunGoPlay ( www.fungoplay.com ) is an online sports theme park and the first virtual world to bridge online and offline play through the use of ‘connected’ sports gear. Conceptualized by industry veterans and dads — including music industry pioneer and start-up expert Steven Lerner, children’s content development, TV distribution, merchandising and licensing veteran David Jacobs (Sesame Workshop/HIT Entertainment), and writer and franchise director of kids properties Fabian Nicieza (Batman, X-Men, Transformers.) — the site caters to the online gaming needs of today’s 6-11 year olds. FunGoPlay delivers customizable avatars, fun games, and a safe, social community while rewarding active offline play.