“Two Days of Play”; One Reporter’s Experience at the World Congress of Play

Sasha Bailyn_creative head shotSasha Bailyn – Editor Entertainment Designer magazine

Sasha Bailyn is a creative consultant and the founder of EntertainmentDesigner.com, the largest website covering themed entertainment, exhibit and experience design. She works with top designers to develop concepts and bring projects to fruition. In her capacity as concept developer and writer, Bailyn has worked on world-class destination attractions, theme parks, edutainment venues and interactive games. She has been featured in Forbes and quoted in InterPark Magazine and The Huffington Post.

Her article, "Two Days of Play:  Recap of World Congress of Play 2014", was such a great analysis and synopsis of the conference that we are sharing it with you here in Global Toy News. 

Can you imagine a conference where getting up in the middle of a panel discussion to TP the room is not only allowed, but encouraged? At the World Congress of Play (WCOP), adults get to talk for two days straight about play, in all its various forms, and to play a lot themselves. As an attendee, I spoke to industry executives in silly voices at the request of a speaker, tested out cutting edge robotic toys, and even got to romp around in an interactive playground during coffee breaks.

Though the gathering was intimate, each person there represented a unique facet of play, spanning a broad spectrum of disciplines that included board games, apps, online gaming, theme parks, outdoor recreation, and of course, toys. In bringing together this eclectic mix of industries, the second WCOP sought to carve out a space for play in the professional world — a concept that is both essential in life and highly undervalued by society. WCOP’s goal is to define the niche of play, making it an industry in its own right.

Here are some of the important conversations in the world of play today:

1. Transmedia

These days, intellectual property rarely stays on one platform. IP can start anywhere and go in any direction: toys become video games, comic books become apps, and video games become theme parks. Content creators strive to cross over into as many mediums as possible to capture the various facets of consumers’ leisure time. This is no longer a creative gimmick; it’s a requirement. As speaker Dan Yaccarino said, “Coming up with the toy first doesn’t work. We have to consider the foundation and the greater context.” In other words, games, creative content, and almost any play-based intellectual property must have a wide breadth of both digital and physical relevance, giving consumers the sense that it belongs to a world unto itself.

To read the rest of the article; click here.  It will be well worth your time.

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