Superbook Launches New Kids Web site
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Superbook is now online! The producers behind Superbook: A Giant Adventure have created an interactive Web site allowing kids to explore the Bible and get to know God personally.
Recently, Superbook producer Greg Flick shared with CBN.com about the vision for the site, and how they are using games, interactive characters, and radio to teach children about having faith in Jesus Christ.
What does the Superbook team hope to accomplish with this new Web site?
Trends are showing that more and more Christian kids are not receiving a firm biblical foundation. As they are becoming adults, they are leaving the faith. To counter these trends, CBN wants to be in a place where kids are actively engaged, and the Internet is definitely one of those places. Our goal is to have a place on the web that engages kids with the things they expect from top-notch Web sites, items such as cool games, the ability to create your own unique online character and community elements, like leader-boards and seeing who else is playing online. It’s within this inviting environment that kids will be introduced to the world of Superbook. Our overarching goals are to share about Jesus and to encourage children to have a better understanding of the Bible and how to apply it to their lives.
What exciting new features on the site will help you with your mission?
Kids love online games, and that will definitely be our biggest draw to the site from their vantage point. For parents, it will be that they know Superbookkids.com is a safe place for them to have their child hang out. And while the child is there, they will be learning more about the Bible. The games that we have are some of the most popular game-types, and we’ve introduced those games within the world of Superbook. Some of the games will be all about fun. For example, in the game Chris and Joy’s Supersplash, the player takes part in a fun water fight between Chris and Joy. Other games will have biblical content weaved in them, whether it’s facts about the Bible, an introduction to Bible verses, or even learning about Bible artifacts. One of these games, Superbook Artifact Adventure, has kind of an Indiana Jones feel to it. In this game, players can click on matching artifacts to clear them from the board. When the player clears the matches, the player learns what we call an ‘artifactoid’, which will describe certain Bible artifacts, like the Ten Commandments or the staff of Moses.
We also have another cool game called Professor Quantum’s Q & A Contraption. We are filling the game up with all kinds of questions that are common to kids of all ages. When kids find a question that they would like to ask, the machine will offer them biblically-based answer.
Another exciting feature that we are developing is an interactive daily devotional. This devotional will be a great way for kids to grow in their faith. I see it as a neat way for kids and their parents to interact with each other and God’s Word, either first thing in the morning or at night before they go to bed. As a parent of five little ones, I know the challenges of finding time to spend with my family, as well as, ways to encourage them in their faith. This feature will be an invaluable tool for a child’s spiritual growth and will encourage a fun daily family time.
The Web site includes registration for users (who will be mainly kids). Why is that?
Registration allows us to engage a child at a deeper level. First off, we have built the site to be COPPA [Children's Online Privacy Protection Act] compliant. That means we contact parents of children under the age of 13 to let them know that their child has signed up to become a member of the site, and any email interaction happens through the parent’s email. Beyond that, registration allows the child to build their customized characters and keep track of the game points they accumulate.
This will be cool for the kids as we launch our online ‘economic system’ in December. This system will allow kids to exchange their points for entry into our contests with the hopes of winning some cool prizes. We also are working toward having kids be able to donate their points to causes, so that point accumulation positively affects people around the world. For instance, the points could be donated toward a water well being dug in India. Once the well has been built, we will notify the child, and even share a video clip from the village in India, so they can see what they helped to accomplish.
How will the Gospel be presented to kids on the Web site?
We have a kid-friendly Gospel presentation on Superbookkids.com that walks you through the steps to salvation. It offers some interactivity, so that we know each child is actually choosing to ‘walk’ through the presentation versus just watching a video and then responding. If a child decides to give their life to Christ and prays the prayer of salvation that we have provided in the presentation, then they are offered an opportunity to fill out a short online form or call our prayer line, where that child can interact with one of our prayer counselors, who are specifically trained to interact with children.
We also are developing a 30-day new believers devotional for kids, which we will be offering to new believers either by mail, PDF download, and an online, interactive version as well. We’re very excited about this because it will help to lay a good foundation for a new follower of Christ. For those who are not ready to accept Christ as the Savior, we will offer an opportunity to connect with a prayer counselor or interact with Professor Quantum’s Q & A Contraption to find answers to any faith questions they may have. We will be adding more and varied opportunities for children to come to Christ in the future.
How do you see using the character creator feature to reach kids for Christ?
In the short run, I believe we will be using the Superbook character creator as a way for a child to add some individuality to his or her Web site experience. As we plan on moving towards a more immersive online experience such as a virtual world, a child’s character will play a part in the learning process. For example, viewers will watch our programs, whether on TV, DVD, digital downloads or IPTV, and ‘travel back’ with Chris and Joy and watch the events of the Bible through their eyes. This is a great way to introduce the stories of the Bible to children, through engaging, high production value stories. They will interact with the characters from these stories on a more personal level. It’s through the combination of interaction with the characters of the stories and playing games within the virtual world (which reinforce the ideals and principles of these stories) that children will be able to go deeper within the Bible stories and hopefully have more of a transformative experience.
The Web site has radio too! Tell me about this new feature for kids.
Superbook radio is going to be super fun! Right now, we have a radio widget that looks like Gizmo’s head and visitors can listen to a sample of the kind of music that will be on Superbook radio. My kids have given it two thumbs up, and they are very excited about its launch in mid-December.
Superbook radio will feature interactive elements, including the ability to vote for your favorite songs, either online or by text. We’ll also have some exciting contests featuring some of today’s most popular Christian artists.
What is your ultimate dream for this project?
Superbookkids.com can rival anything on the web as far as quality goes. I hope it will be a place that children will want to spend time at, and come back time and time again. We will continue to build the site by adding more games, more discipleship content, more character choices, and more content featuring kids. The site was created to be a place that engages and entertains kids. By doing those two things, we hope to transform their hearts and minds.
Studies show that anywhere from 40 to 80 percent of Christians come to know Christ before they are 13 years old. So this site is targeting a field that is ripe for harvest! An alarming trend that studies from groups such as Barna show is that Christians in their late teens and early twenties are leaving the Church because of lack of understanding of their faith. I truly hope that the site can play a part in encouraging kids to read, meditate on, and understand the Bible. Through the games, immersive experiences, and online devotional, I believe we will offer tools that will help to play a positive role in turning that trend around.
As a father, I’m excited that there is a place online where my kids can hang out, have fun, and learn about Jesus and the Bible. I look forward to the time when we have more online tools, such as the interactive daily devotionals or personalized interactive online Bibles, where kids and parents can spend some fun quality time together learning about the Bible and how to apply the principles of the Bible to their lives.
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Join with us as CBN reaches the next generation of children with the truth of the Bible through Superbook! You can help put God's Word into the hearts and minds of today's children, helping them to build a solid foundation in life. For your special gift of $25 or more, we'll send you the first episode on DVD, Superbook: A Giant Adventure, as our thank-you. Your gift will help produce future episodes of this life-changing series. Please give today.
Hannah Goodwyn serves as a producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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