An opportunity up for grabs?

Posted on: Tuesday 26 June 2012 9:29pm

#TCMC
Ricard Gras is the session producer for SECOND SCREEN, 2-3pm Thursday July 5 in Cinema 2. He’s asking, why is there so little Second Screen content for kids?

It really feels great to be involved with Sheffield’s CMC for a third year, this time as producer of another content-meets-technology-session. And there’s good reason for such joyfulness. Firstly, as ever, it’s great to be part of an event that has such a uniquely committed, consistent and generous focus on children’s media, in its widest possible sense. And lastly – because of the overwhelming feeling I get whenever I look back into how far this event has come.
The session I’ve worked on this year will attempt to dissect a new type of content: so-called “Second Screen”. Second Screen is content that runs in tablets and smartphones in (synchronised) connection with what’s on TV. These applications or sites usually invite users to interact directly with TV content, play alongside it (as in the case of Million Pound Drop) or take part in parallel activities (access extra info or engage in social activities related to the show). A lot has happened in this area since I wrote a white-paper about it back in November last year – Second Screen apps and events (even fully-fledged conferences) are popping up everywhere. However, despite the impending advent of Nintendo’s WiiU and Microsoft’s SmartGlass, not a lot has happened in the traditional children’s media sector, and everyone is asking – why?
Why is there so little Second Screen content for kids?

Addressing this question hasn’t been easy – but that’s probably a sign of the (I hope) necessity of actually having this session. To me Second Screen content could, eventually, deliver the creative utopia that was heralded by the advent of IDTV – and kids (natural “multi-taskers”) are bound to have a key saying in this… so I thought to myself – this is worth a try! This session has given me the privilege to work once again with Greg Childs, a great exec (Neil Richards), an über-qualified moderator (Peter Cowley) and 3 wonderful speakers. I’m sure these latter will provide attendees with – if not all the answers – at least a clear analysis of what we can all do to ensure that Second Screen puts kids first.
Ricard

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