Pre-conference previews and post-session reports from CMC 2015.


Are You Licensed to Thrill?

Posted on: Wednesday 01 July 2015 5:03pm

Licensed to Thrill, Thursday, 2 July 2015, 12.45-13.45 @ Cinema 2 Over the last twenty-five years licensing has moved from being the ‘black sheep’ of the media family to being the ‘great white hope’ of cash-strapped production companies. The budgets for children’s TV, in particular, have been slashed and slashed again. Ofcom regulations have further restricted access for broadcasters to traditional revenue streams, further reducing desire to invest in original content. Meanwhile, huge licensing successes like Moshi Monsters or Angry Birds, from non-traditional media, and also Ben 10, Sean the Sheep or Minions, from very traditional media, have more than ever…

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Brand Overlay - Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 5:25pm by Hannah Lee

Takeaway Brand overlay must bring something fresh The digital space has opened more opportunities for brand overlay There are some golden rules that ensure brand overlay will have more chance of success…but sometimes, the weirder it is, the more kids will enjoy it! Brand overlays can make things more accessible to more audiences Brand overlay must be child focussed strong brands Keep the branding strong but allow for flexibility within the brand overlay Children’s play patterns have always involved a mash-up of brands. Toy companies like Lego are also brilliant at layering brands, with their top-selling products supporting other brands.…

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Brands and Learning – Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 5:40pm by Hannah Lee

Takeaway Listen to your audience, never mind if that's children, parents and teachers Be aware that children learn outside of a school environment In a school environment, make sure your brand is linked to the national curriculum Constantly monitor feedback to remain aware of changing requirements Involving your brand in a school can be beneficial for the businesses reputation and employee morale, as well as the receiving audience Always remain credible - your audience will know if you have ulterior motives for being educational Details Trevor Klein introduced the panel and the session with the aim of finding out why,…

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Celtic Commissioners & The Cash Stash

Posted on: Monday 29 June 2015 2:17pm by Siwan Jobbins

Creative Producer Siwan Jobbins extends a warm invitation to the Changing Channels: Commissioning Conversation with Celtic Commissioners ... With ever shrinking budgets, the canny producer is always on the lookout for new broadcasters to pitch to and new funding models. Ok, the tag line for our session, ‘Celtic Commissioners' may be a little more dramatic than the reality, but there is money available for the right projects. Our session will take a closer look at who S4C, RTÉ & BBC Alba are and what they’re about. We’ll find out what they’re looking for, whilst also discovering how various funds and pots of…

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Changing Behaviours

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2015 5:55pm by Shazia Ali

CMC Research Strand Co-Producer, Shazia Ali, on the nine sessions offering new insights into kids’ minds, play, and media habits. The research strand at the CMC never fails to attract. Free research insights are of enormous value to CMC delegates. This year’s session in Cinema 1 show the range of interests in the research sector – commercial companies, academic and other institutions are all turning up to share what they know.  9 x 30 minute bite-size presentations offer a range of research content in easily digestible form. The sessions this year showcase speakers from Ofcom, The University of Sheffield and several…

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Changing Channels: Commissioner Conversation with the BBC – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 11:19pm by Tom Jordan

Takeaways The 2016 charter renewal will have a significant impact on the BBC, and therefore on children’s TV in the UK. The BBC therefore needs the support of the industry in these potentially critical times The long-term future will be even more digital, and producers need to think more about the interactive possibilities – although traditional TV content is still going strong There are commissioning opportunities across the spectrum, including through BBC Learning Digital development still needs to be based around the audience being able to trust the BBC. Detail BBC strategy meetings may have been subjected to mainstream mockery over…

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Changing Channels: Commissioner Conversation with the Celtic Commissioners - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 7:06am by Heather McDaid

Funding is a vital part of the media industry, finding someone to support or work with in order to bring your vision to life, but it's not always easy to know how. The panel members Grainne McGuinness, Pauline MacNamara, Margaret Cameron and Sioned Wyn Roberts came to chat through funding options in Ireland, Scotland and Wales respectively. "Budgets are falling, but they expect outputs to remain the same." It's a sad truth, but the one positive to take is that content will always be needed. This is just an overview of the funding and grants discussed: Sioned Wyn Roberts - S4C:…

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Changing Minds

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2015 5:54pm by Tom Kenyon

CMC Learning Strand Editor, Tom Kenyon, on the new cross-overs between educational and mainstream media for kids. Children’s Media has always had a close relationship with learning.  If ever we needed a reminder of the impact this industry can have on children’s learning and development, Sesame Street – a show that was devised to answer the question ‘can television teach?’ - released evidence this year that watching Big Bird, Elmo and co had the same impact on pre-schoolers’ education as attending nursery school. The theme of this year’s CMC is change. The learning content industry has undergone a huge transformation over…

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Changing Platforms – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 4:40pm by Simon Bor

Takeaway ITV needed to find a way to monetise their content after their SuBo moment. Big music companies were turning away acts with ready-made fan bases. PopShack appeals to 9 – 16 year–olds. It has been death by a 1,000 cuts for traditional creative communities. Creating content for YouTube brings new freedoms. Detail All Change? is the theme of the conference and this session’s panel consisted of three professionals who have done just that. Rebbeca Frankel, from Little Dot, used to run digital projects at Channel 4. She was brought into ITV, to help generate YouTube income.  They'd realised that…

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Changing Platforms: Commissioner Conversations with Publishers - Report

Posted on: Saturday 04 July 2015 4:09pm by Simon Bor

Takeaway Reading agents' Tweets is a good way of identifying the right agent for your book. A 'packager' is the publishing equivalent of a TV production company. Marketing departments matter. If publishers don’t make money, they close. Late TV scheduling decisions get in the way of many deals. TV/book tie-ins are usually part of a much larger licensing programme. Detail John Lomas-Bulivant of Dynamite talked to three executives from the world of publishing and asked them the big question; can you pitch an idea to a publisher without an author attached? “It’s more traditional to receive a manuscript,” said Richard Haines…

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Children's Commissioner Attends CMC

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2015 5:51pm

The Web We Want, Friday 3 June 2015, 9.30-10.30am HUBS C Picking up on web inventor Tim Berners-Lee’s concept of The Web We Want, CMC are staging a session to explore the rights of children online and the responsibilities of platform owners towards young people in their user base. The CMC welcomes for the first time the Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, to talk about her plan to create an Internet task-force to explore kids’ welfare online. Also taking part is Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mother’s Union, who was author of the 2013 government-commissioned 'Bailey review' that explored the…

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Children's Film - Adapt or Kill? - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:37am by Danny Stack

Takeaway: Family films are becoming a growing priority Finance is challenging There is hope! Details: Since last year’s session about UK family films (and the lack thereof), not one but two UK films have found success at the box office: Paddington and Shaun The Sheep. But these are adaptations or based on pre-existing material. What about original family films? Have they any hope of getting made? Phil Parker led a panel comprising of Anne Brogan (Kindle Entertainment), Tim Clague (Nelson Nutmeg Pictures) and Joe Naftalin (Studio Canal) to find out. For Studio Canal, Joe explained that family films have become…

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Closing Keynote: One More Thing - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 7:22pm

Dylan Collins, CEO of SuperAwesome, tells the kids industry it needs to grow a pair… The closing keynote of  CMC 2015 began with the feeling that a row was brewing. Dylan Collins, a self-proclaimed bully, challenged the bastions of the kids’ industry to form a veritable Wu-Tang Clan mentality and collectively develop new models for revenue generation – especially in the digital sector. Dylan Collins In his opening keynote for the 2014 CMC, Dylan proclaimed to the industry that he would work to fill the gaps he saw in the industry from both the development and advertising sides. He stated…

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CMC: You Get Out What You Put In

Posted on: Wednesday 06 May 2015 11:21pm by Chris Banks

As CMC 2015 gets closer, we'll take advice on how to get the best out of the Conference  from the people involved - as delegates, speakers, sponsors etc... ...and at the same time we'll learn something about their "day jobs". Banks & Wag are award-winning London-based composers of music for media.  Their kids' credits include 'ZingZillas', 'Friday Download', 'Blue Peter', 'Newsround', and 'Wanda And The Alien'.  Most recently, they have written the score to the feature film 'Up All Night'. Ah, the Three-Day Jolly, so beloved of media folk everywhere.   Whether it be the free merchandise, the inside info on future productions, or merely the thirty minute bath…

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CMF Debate: Staring Into the Abyss

Posted on: Wednesday 19 August 2015 1:10am by Jayne Kirkham

Jayne Kirkham previews the CMF debate on 3 September - which follows on from the 2015 CMC Opening Session: Game Change: As Steve Hewlett took to the stage of Showroom Cinema 4 to quiz our four illustrious panellists on behalf of CMC delegates who’d dutifully sent in their questions for our ‘Question Time’ format, it already felt as though “plates were shifting” in the corridors of power – and I don’t mean the crockery. The phrase “seismic shift” (in the way kids view and the way content is served) came up many times at CMC, not least in the ‘Game Change’ Question…

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Commissioner Conversations: Commercial Networks - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:32am by Tracy Warren

Takeaway Fresh, new and innovative idea will always be welcomed - starting tonight at the bar. There is a gap for 10-14’s so if you have content to capture this international audience, get them in. Research what the channel is looking for before you submit your idea. Networks are global so if you chat to one person, they will discuss it for the UK and international opportunities. Tell your story with passion and authenticity. You can pitch as a creator, however, linking up with a production company can help put your idea together and open up new formats. As her…

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Converging Careers - Report

Posted on: Sunday 05 July 2015 8:53pm by Emma Cooper

Hosted by Senior Producer at BBC Children's Lorraine Camm this session set out to discuss the demanding career requirements brought up by the current multiplatform children's media jobs market. Lorraine explained that if "media platform and production are converging" what skill-sets do we need to deal with that convergence. Juliet Tzabar says in a world where "Kids expectations are to find everything on every device" that "their media isn't disrupted, it just is" you need to work flexibly. Juliet is Managing Director at agency Plug-in Media who create online games and apps, producing both 'work for hire' and their own original IP. In…

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Creative Keynote with Jenny Sealey - Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 5:52pm by Emma Cooper

Sue Nott set up this evening's keynote: "We're going to look at our theme 'All Change?' from a different perspective... looking at change more as a call to action than as a business need." Jenny Sealey's profile defines her as "a fighter".  My expectations for this session were quite high and Jenny certainly delivered. I had goosebumps the entire way through. Jenny opened the session by getting us to think about what our name signs are; to put palms together with our neighbours and then try to work out how long your forearm is from someone else's little fingers. Jenny explained that…

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Ed Tech Futures - Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 3:52pm by Emma Cooper

Takeaway: Workshops and user testing are key to ensuring your audience understand and want to engage with your products. Immersing yourself in kid's culture will help you get perspective on what they want as well as what's important to them. Branding needs to come from an honest place and not forced, it needs to be core to who you are and what you're doing. It's a full market and the audience is very savvy. Google is your friend, do your research. Detail: The education technology market is vast and filled with opportunities, the panel for the session was made up…

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Exploring the Future of Play

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2015 5:52pm by Jo Lansdowne

Play Sandbox, Friday 3 July 2015 12.45-1.45pm @ HUBS A  Jo Lansdowne, REACT Managing Producer, and the Play Sandbox team, will be demoing some of the amazing products designed by kids, professionals, and academics in the HUBS throughout the conference and explaining the Play Sandbox process in a special session at Friday 3 July 2015 12.45-1.45pm @ HUBS A. Her aim – to stimulate new ways of working and new relationships in the creative process” “I think I got out of it the sense that if you put your mind to something you can accomplish anything.” Play Sandbox Young Coach In REACT,…

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Finance Lab - Report

Posted on: Saturday 04 July 2015 3:50pm by Danny Stack

Takeaway: Financing is simple but complex, and dependent on a variety of deals and factors Development, production, distribution and banking bodies can all help raise funds so that projects can go ahead Financial and emotional decisions aren't mutually exclusive! Session details: Lunchtime on the last day of the conference? A time to unwind and say goodbye? No sirree. Time to talk FINANCE! Edward Galton (MD of Cake) led a panel of nine, count them, NINE industry experts to break down the financial journey a producer faces to get their TV project off the ground. Anne Brogan from Kindle played the…

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Focus on China – Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 5:50pm by Tom Jordan

Takeaway: Work together with a strong Chinese partner Think locally and internationally Be aware of cultural and storytelling differences Focus on what you can bring to the table, rather than what you can get out of China. Details With a population of 1.35 billion, China may well have the largest potential audience in the world – but, as the panel discussed, to be successful in the Chinese market international companies need to do more than just rock up and try to sell their show, make a pile of cash, then leave. To make it work, collaboration is key. Host Alex…

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Focus on International - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 8:49pm by Jelena Stosic

Takeaway Challenges and opportunities are different in different markets – but all recognise that the number of players and channels are making the market more competitive. Australia – Australian Children’s Television Foundation: very interested in culturally relevant content. United States – PBS: US is more competitive than ever, with most cable channels and VOD providers packing up their children content. PBS is looking for great stories, humour, elements of surprise and a strong focus on curriculum. Japan - NHK : Japan is proud to have a different and unique local style of animation that is not just for children, but…

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Focusing on Mexico

Posted on: Tuesday 02 June 2015 11:34pm by Andrés Espinosa Aceves

More news and views from people you'll meet at this year's CMC.   Andrés Espinosa Aceves is Deputy Trade and Investment Commissioner at Pro-Mexico. He's attending the International Exchange and speaking in the Focus on Mexico session which will also welcome a group of Mexican animation producers with plans for partnering in the UK. Andrés outlines the reasons why Mexico and the UK could be a good fit and what his organisation is doing at the CMC and beyond. Like the UK, Mexico is also a country with a very strong tradition in the Creative Industries. It is known over the world…

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From Tokenism to Truthful - Report

Posted on: Sunday 05 July 2015 9:21am by Simon Bor

Takeaway  50% of the regular cast of ‘The Dumping Ground’ are diverse. ‘Katie Morag’ has the kind of authenticity that is lacking from other minority portrayals. A new passport is a great moment for a Trans person. The world of fine art can be elitist and exclusive. Detail According to IPSOS research, 38% of people living in 2050’s Britain will come from an ethic background. Moderator, Sheila de Courcy, Head of Children’s at RTÉ, asked the panel if television is doing enough to reflect all Britain’s minorities or whether the use of non-white and disabled talent is just tokenism. Cat Lewis is passionate…

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International Exchange - Report

Posted on: Wednesday 01 July 2015 11:22pm

For those who have never attended a CMC International Exchange, Animation Producer and Consultant, Helen Brunsdon, gives an inside look at how it all happens. On entering The Millenium Gallery there was a buzz throughout the building. Helen described it as “a pleasant sort of chit-chat in an air conditioned space, which helps.” This all-day series of pitch and get-to-know you meetings session sets up "sellers" at 60 tables in the vast Gallery space, and has "buyers and funders" travelling from table to table for the pre-arranged meetings.  The online booking system, Meeting Mojo, get them all to set up profiles…

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Interview with Linda Simensky

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 10:05pm

In a brief interview with Linda Simensky, VP of Children’s Programming for PBS, she shared some personal insights about her first-time experience at the CMC and why she is here. What inspired you to come to the CMC? “I was in the UK in March for a session on tax credits, which looked at how much the children’s media industry has grown in the UK. I was impressed by how interesting the conversation was. On top of that, someone mentioned to me that out of all the kids’ events to attend worldwide, this was the one to go to. This…

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It Takes Two – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:05pm by Simon Bor

Takeaway: Dick and Dom. “A Double act is like a separate marriage.” Tom and Jerry are enemies who can’t live without each other. Danger Mouse retains his DNA for the new series. There maybe more male double acts because girls are more prone to falling out. The Detail: Double acts are a staple of children’s TV from The Chuckle Brothers and Ant & Dec to Bill and Ben and Scoobie and Shaggy. Host, CBBC executive producer for independents, Melissa Hardinge, wanted to find out why double acts are so popular. Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood, better known as Dick and…

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Launch of Children’s Media Network Scotland - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 11:56am

  Takeaway A new network bringing together people who work in children's media in Scotland   Details This launch spells the start of a really exciting chapter in the history of Scottish children’s media. The Children’s Media Network Scotland will bring together children’s media professionals in a way that has never been tried before. Their website promises networking opportunities and aims to bring together media professionals in Scotland who otherwise would never have met. Sitting down at my table, I was greeted by a selection of Scottish teacakes. I realised then that this launch was going to evoke a real sense…

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Learning by App - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:56am by Heather McDaid

Takeaway:  Children under 3 years old use tablets very differently to those over 3. You should let children's imaginations run wild - don't restrict them, encourage them. There are thousands of education apps that need curation. Games can also help learning, even without meaning to. Details: Apps are becoming a ubiquitous item for most things, from paying for parking to idly passing time by matching fruits to one another, so it's natural that over time, they've been used for children's education. But how does that work? Does it work? Each panel member takes a few minutes to talk about their…

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Licensed to Thrill – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:20pm by Simon Bor

Takeaway It’s all about eye-balls. License owners should think like a consumer thinks. Disney have 80% of the US market, after companies like Nickelodeon, there’s not much left for the rest of us. It is now more respectable for adults to buy licensed product. The new Thunderbirds works for today’s kids because of the writing. Detail Are the days of the seven-year plan for licensed product over? Is it harder than ever to identify a successful property? Kelvyn Gardener asked a panel of licensing professionals about the state of play in the YouTube age. Up until five or six years…

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Make A Change

Posted on: Monday 29 June 2015 2:28pm by Jake Hobbs

New to the Children’s Media Conference for 2015 are the Changemakers: short presentations from individuals who are innovating and making an impact in the industry, and many of them are young achievers. These unique talks have been produced to align with this years theme “All Change?" with contributions from speakers as young as 12 who could well be the future of the industry. In searching for our Changemakers we sought out the very best talent from a range of backgrounds including arts and culture, games, and publishing to offer a diverse set of opinions and insight to provoke thought amongst the audience.…

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Maker Studio Masterclass - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:49am by Danny Stack

This session focused on building your YouTube brand/channel. Sarah Baynes was MC but the session kicked off with a brief presentation from Tom Scott, who is possibly best described as a freelance digital maverick. He has his own YouTube channel with 200,000 subscribers (203,525 if you want to be precise), who tune in to Tom’s videos about science and technology. In his presentation, Tom shared his top 3 tips about his online experience: 1: You can’t make something go viral. 2: Make good things. Tell people about them. 3: There is almost no money in YouTube. ($1 for every 1,000…

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Manchester Animation Festival Information Session – Report

Posted on: Friday 10 July 2015 1:08am

Takeaway: The first Manchester Animation Festival will run from the 17th to the 19th of November 2015. The event will take place at the new venue - HOME - in Manchester. There will be screenings, competition, networking opportunities and informative talks. The Festival will ally with the existing Manimation professional conference produced annually in Manchester by CMC Detail: The Manchester Animation Festival is working with the CMC and Manimation to bring a new animation event to Manchester. It aims to replace the Bradford Animation Festival, following its cancellation this year, and will take place on the 17th, 18th and 19th of November. The festival is headed…

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Masterclass: Industrial Light & Magic – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 9:58am by Simon Bor

Takeaway "TV is not dead,” says top Vlogger. The visual effects industry in Soho has grown from 1,000 people in 2003 to 6,000. Is Xlab the future of interactive storytelling? The verdict on that new Star Wars film. Detail Disney Channel’s David Levine introduced this year’s masterclass by Scott Pritchard, sequence supervisor at ILM London. First, changemaker Laura “Laurbubble” gave a talk and presentation about her career as a video blogger or Vlogger. She described Vlogging as presenting short videos of 1-5 duration that interact with the viewer. They are often about lifestyle, comedy, fashion or gaming. It’s becoming the…

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MIPJunior and MIPCOM Information Session – Report.

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 3:38pm

Takeaway MIPJunior is a conference for buyers, producers, creators and publishers in the children’s entertainment industry. Highlights include seminars from industry experts, networking opportunities, and world screening premieres. MIPJunior also has the largest international digital library for children’s entertainment. The event takes place on the 3rd and 4th of October, followed by MIPCOM from the 5th to the 8th. Details If you’re in the children’s media business, you may have heard of MIPJunior. If you haven’t, let me explain. MIPCOM is a huge conference that takes place in Cannes at the Hotel Martinez every year. It is a huge marketplace,…

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Mole Hill on the CMC

Posted on: Tuesday 14 July 2015 1:34am by Mole Hill

Co-director of 'The Clangers,' Mole Hill, on taking names at the CMC... Names.  It’s the names again.  I’m sitting at Stockport station, platform 0, waiting for the connecting train to Sheffield and slowly realizing that I’ve forgotten the names of every professional contact I’ve ever made.  I can picture their faces, but their names and job titles are completely gone.  This always happens when I go to a conference.  I used to get away with it but, now that my eyesight has all the clarity of a bat in a pea-souper, the tactic of glancing casually at a badge on…

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New Dragons in the Den

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2015 5:53pm by Zoë Bamsey

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Thursday 2 July 2015 1.45-3pm @ Showroom Cinema 4 This hugely popular session is returning for its fourth year! [The format doesn’t change – why change it? It’s “hugely popular.”] Same presenter, same monetary stakes - but the judges and producers are all brand new! This session has a ‘Dragons Den’ format and is presented by Karl Woolley in his inimitable style. The format allows several producers an opportunity to present their creative ideas to a panel of four potential funders, and to pitch for financial investment while offering a stake in return. …

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Opening Keynote, Michael Stevens: All Change? – Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 1:25am by Simon Bor

Sheffield's world-famous Crucible Theatre hosted the CMC's Opening Keynote on Weds 1 July 2015. YouTube video star Michael Stevens, creator of the hugely successful Vsauce educational channels entertained and challenged a 750 strong audience of children's media makers with his views on engagement, authenticity and the YouTube "revolution".   Take aways Vsauce has notched over 15 million subscribers and over a billion views. Overestimate the intelligence of the audience and underestimate their vocabulary. YouTubers are challenging the conventions for production and delivery. YouTubers are building new forms of engagement, by keeping close to their audience through direct feedback, by offering authentic voices entirely crafted…

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Opening Session: Game Change - Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 7:25pm by Emma Cooper

The Children's Media Conference has a reputation as one of the friendliest conferences in children's media - but it's not backward in coming forward and the opening session certainly set the tone for this year's conference. This year's conference theme is 'All Change?'  and chair Steve Hewlett reckons "We're right on the sharp end of the fastest changing market". With Ofcom's Public Service Broadcast review published today we can see clearly that there is a change in the pattern of viewing, and it's moved in a dramatic way. "YouTube is now the go to destination". Alice Webb says that the BBC is…

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Play Sandbox – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 11:12pm by Hannah Lee

Takeaway Understand your aims for the project Consider practical and ethical issues Identify how you have a feedback loop Know your context and limitations Willingness to take risks can pay off Involving children in the design process is worth it Details Jo Lansdowne, Simon Moreton, Hannah McVey and Alison Oldfield work as part of REACT, a four year project funded by the Arts Council looking at children’s relationships with digital technology. The session explores how it can be used to give children a different way to learn and new toys to play with, such as introducing technology in playgrounds, and…

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Play, Make and Share: Inspiring Creativity – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 8:56pm by Tom Jordan

Takeaways Creativity may be squeezed in school curriculums, but it is ever-expanding in the digital world The industry needs to keep creating and supporting creative interactivity and learning Everyone benefits from children being provided with the right tools for digital creativity Safe platforms need to be provided for children, but also more thought needs to be given about the transition from walled–garden under 13 inline to the full-blown internet experience Detail The key question up for discussion in this session was: ‘As creativity is squeezed out of formal education, how can children’s media inspire and enable children to express themselves…

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Plus Ça Change - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 11:05pm by Hannah Lee

Takeaway The values of these shows are still very much relevant to today’s audiences The directors have kept the shows as true to original form as possible, whilst making modernising updates along the way Detail Changemaker Guilherme Coelho is an app publisher based in Brazil. On an interesting sidenote, his name translates literally as William Rabbit. Guilherme’s company, called 01 digital, are the top grossing company on the app store since 2010, and have more than 50 apps published already. He says that 24% of apps are used just once which explains the challenge of encouraging people to continue interacting…

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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:56am by Danny Stack

Now in its 4th year (and guided by the winsome comedy stylings of the one and only Karl Woolley), ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ is the place to pitch your projects to a Dragons’ Den style of industry pros. They weren’t just there to listen, they were also ready to hand over REAL cash for an exclusive three month option on any idea that tickled their fancy. In this year’s twist, the panel - Dylan Collins from SuperAwesome, Joan Lambur from Breakthrough Entertainment, Sarah Muller from CBBC and Eryk Casemiro from Zodiak Kids Studios - listened to the…

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Question Time Questions

Posted on: Wednesday 17 June 2015 2:41pm

Send your questions about the future of children’s media for the CMC Question Time session “Game Change” (09:30 – 10:30 Thursday 2 July) to   Session producer and Children's Media Foundation Board member, Jayne Kirkham, explains all… If I were to tell you why I attend the CMC, I’d probably say that it always feels like a shot in the arm or, as my gran would say, ‘a dose of salts’; my granddad would call it ‘a good mulching’. You could choose your own analogy but I think the CMC does all three of these things: it builds you up,…

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Research 1: Children’s Media Use: A Changing World – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:28am by Tom Jordan

Takeaway There has been a massive amount of change in online behaviour in the last few years The big areas of increased use among children are in social media and short-form video There is a lack of awareness among children about the nature and purpose of advertising. Session Details Alison Preston, Head of Media Literacy Research at Ofcom, presented findings and analysis from an Ofcom study into the changing trends of the media use of both parents and children. The slide show, with detailed statistical analysis and survey results will be added soon Much of the analysis was based on…

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Research 2: Sm(all) Change? – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:16am by Tom Jordan

Takeaway: Children tend to shift from glancing to watching as they move higher up the 0-6 age bracket, although the behavioural pattern can be complicated. Live TV is still hugely popular and influential in this age bracket Watching TV is an active pursuit Older preschool children have a need for strong narrative in programming TV can provide an opportunity for learning, but social interaction is still crucial ‘Fear’ is unpredictable. Details: Fiona Scott, postgraduate researcher from Sheffield University, presented her study into understanding and engaging a transitionary preschool television audience, looking at how engagement with TV and other media changes…

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Research 3: Little Miss Understood - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:22am by Jelena Stosic

Takeaway Celebrate who they are, not who they feel they have to be. If still in doubt, ask: “What would Taylor, do?” (Taylor Swift, of course) When engaging girls, help them have fun, be confident, be their true selves – and forget some of the most-used formulae, such as using celebrities or presenting them with an up-aged version of themselves. Session details The Pineapple Lounge carried out a four part study, involving 12 hang-outs at home, 1,000 interviews, 20 parent consultations and a discussion within an online community. Ben Frost and Pete Maginn, the Associate Director and the Head of Research at…

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Research 4: All change? Scooby-Doo, where are you? Still here….! - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 7:30am by Tracy Warren

Takeaway To help work out how to create TV content and play, go back to the physical play that helps children learn to make sense of their role in life ad the situations they encounter. Cartoons are still the most popular type of TV show for kids and most of the favourites have been around for the last ten years. They offer fantasy, humour and the ability to relate to characters. The most popular live action shows of today are relatively new. They appeal to older girls 8+ as they are aware of their development, social experiences, brands etc. This…

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Research 5: Beyond Pink or Blue - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 7:38am by Tracy Warren

Takeaway: Boys don't like too much talk or emotion Girls don't like violence, but love aesthetics. Detail Dr Maya Götz, Head of theInternational Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television (IZI) at the Bayerische Rundfunk, presented interesting findings from a German television channel on the appeal of characters and the social construction of gender. They researched 40 girls and 40 boys aged 8-11 and it was humorous to see the stereotypes really do exist. It starts with pink or blue clothing, interest level in girls and boys watching soccer, pink rabbits with ribbons in their hair. When creating content it's…

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Research 6: Has Digital Changed Play? - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 3:00pm by Jelena Stosic

Takeaway Play is hugely important for children. It helps them develop, learn, reflect on life and sort out events. Very few children feel that they are too old to play: only 6% of 7-12 year olds do. Digital has not “killed” play. The context in which children play has changed; some of the tools they use for play have changed – but they are still essentially communicating with the people in their lives, and playing through their childhood. 91% of parents report regularly using media devices as a family. Detail Dr. Barbie Clarke and Siv Svanaes from Family Kids &…

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Research 7: When more is more: Understanding Children's Choice Process - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 3:41pm by Jelena Stosic

Takeaway Analysis paralysis occurs when we are presented with too many choices: we analyse which option will give us the best return, but then often over-analyse, get frustrated and may not even make a choice. Adults suffer from option paralysis, but children do not. For them, choosing is far simpler, and the abundance of options that would confuse the adult population thrills them. When creating content or when presenting it to children, think: more is more. At the same time, the that work with adults, such as recommendations, trending and various other categorisation systems, do not work in the same way…

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Research 8: Umm hello… We’re changing. Why aren’t you? - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:53pm

Takeaway: Children are no longer actively pursuing content; the content comes to them. Children’s media consumption is rapidly changing. According to a report released by Ofcom, 7 in 10 homes now have a tablet. Consumption of content among children has shifted to an “all about me” philosophy, with children choosing what they want, where they want, and when they want to watch it. For kids, wi-fi is as important as air, children - and parents. Detail In this session Alan Hathaway and Renuka Gupta presented new research from the Discovery Research Group. It revealed that children are increasingly adopting an “all about…

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Research 9: Online Identity and Neuroscience - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:47am

Takeaway: Research has been conducted into what an online presence is to a teenager, and what a teenager aims to gain by having an online presence. Results showed that teens prized their online identity very highly, even though often the personality presented online differed to their physical personality. Furthermore, online identities may at some stage become more important to a teen than their physical identity. The response to this finding was that more research needs to be done into the topic, but that even online identities seemed to have very human wants. Session Details “What is online identity all about?”…

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Storytelling: The Pre-school Parent Trap - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 4:55pm by Tracy Warren

Takeaway We need to feed the kids a sense of optimism. If you use something real, that they can recognise, it resonates, they get it and buy into it. Its aspirational even though they may not understand the narrative.  The stories you tell are their equipment for life. There is a gap for 4-7 year olds. People are picking and choosing Nick Jnr, Netflix and YouTube as their kids have outgrown CBeebies. It is easier to write up and bring it down than write down and bring it up Is it a parent trap or a broadcaster trap? Broadcasters are responsible for…

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The Business of Digital - Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 4:55pm by Heather McDaid

The Business of Digital sought to look at overheard complaints of digital business, beamed onto the screen, so the panel could deconstruct them from their own experience. The four digital surgeons looking to breakdown the perceived industry woes were Sharna Jackson (Hopster), Darren Garrett of (Popogami), Chris Kempt (Burke & Best) and Nick Gawne (eOne Family), though between them they've worked in many sectors. And, good news, it's a far cry from the doom and gloom the statements would suggest. Takeaway It's not just about getting it up on the app store. The simplest formula is to balance scope with…

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The CMC Suitcase: The Japan Prize at 50 - Report

Posted on: Saturday 04 July 2015 3:40pm by Danny Stack

Takeaway A look at the highlights of the 50th Japan Prize Detail The Japan Prize is an international festival that champions the best in educational TV. It’s now in its 50th year. To help celebrate its anniversary, David Kleeman from Dubit presented this charming and inspiring session that looked back at the Prize from its inception in 1965 to the changes/developments in the child education landscape as we catch up with the present day. Hitoshi Furukawa (senior producer for NHK Educational Corporation) was also at hand to highlight some of the key successes of the Prize over the years, and…

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The Great Disruption: Is Children's TV Going OTT? - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 8:38am by Danny Stack

Takeaways The transition from linear TV into OTT viewing may be longer than we anticipate. But the market is ready for OTT disruption: in the short term there’s more money/opportunity available. With much wider viewing choice than ever before, there’s still a great value in a channel brand (which audience will rely on). Details If you thought OTT meant over-the-top content in terms of increasingly daring or outrageous kids’ telly, you would be wrong. Over-the-top in this digital age means the delivery and consumption of content without the control or distribution of that content (online platforms Vs linear TV essentially). In…

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The Need for Speed

Posted on: Tuesday 23 June 2015 12:16pm by Hugh Lawton

valuedThere are Speed Meeting sessions after the commissioning and expert panels at CMC. They are listed in the conference schedule.  Just turn up to the Workstation and book-in to meet the executives of your choice.  It's a first come, first served system, with no pre-booking available. CBBC's Executive Producer, Independents, Hugh Lawton is hungry for your brilliant ideas at CMC speed meetings... So it’s Friday at CMC and you’ve just been to see Alice, Kay, Cheryl and Claire at the Changing Channels session (11-12.30 Showroom Cinema 4) which was both stimulating and insightful but also slightly eased that nagging hangover from the CMC Party*. Now your mind is…

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The Pre-School Parent Trap Preview

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 9:34pm by Mellie Buse

 Storytelling: The Pre-School Parent Trap takes place on Friday 3 July 2015, 9.40-10.40, Cinema 2 The CMC has grown beyond all recognition.  What started out as a relatively homespun, small scale networking conference is now holding its head up high on the international stage.  However, what I like most about the CMC is that it still maintains an atmosphere of inclusivity and camaraderie.  It’s an intimate gathering of people who all have the same aim – to explore ways of producing high quality content for kids who are, as the movers and shakers of tomorrow, the most important audience of all.   The…

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The Write Stuff – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 7:14am by Tom Jordan

Takeaway: Producers like writers. They especially like writers who are nice people. Writers should always be open to working collaboratively. Producers are open to receiving scripts on-spec. Producers, script editors and writers are all on the same page ­– to make the best show possible. Detail: A brilliant session for writers took place on Thursday afternoon in Hub C, with four highly experienced writers, producers, and writer-producers discussing everything anyone ever wanted to know about writing for TV, plus a few other things besides (including which of them was born in Idi Amin’s office, and who on the panel once…

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Top Tips for Working With Kids - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:19am by Hannah Lee

Takeaway The child is always the priority. Their needs are most important. Children are unique. One size doesn’t fit all. Alert the audience of the new protocol to make them feel comfortable about the child’s welfare when watching. Producers should read the working licences. Lots of things are changing. Catherine McAllister introduced the experts on the various regulations for working with children in media. They had backgrounds in regulation and content production, so a range of perspectives was available. Sandra Rothwell – An overview of the licensing changes Performance regulations have been around since 1968 so they really needed updating…

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Transmedia Journeys - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:36pm by Heather McDaid

Takeaway: You have to follow the users, not try push them to where you want them to go. Your starting point must be a good one, and don't lose the soul of it as you expand. Understand where and how your market operate, be truly cross-platform to accommodate. Detail Through examples of brand development, content delivery and storytelling approached from three very different directions on a variety of platforms, Transmedia Journeys looks to shine a light on the ever-changing possibilities for expansion. Paul Nunn, MD of Outfit7, talked about Talking Tom cat, the primary focus for his transmedia experience: the…

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Volunteering as a CMC Producer

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:36pm by Becky Palmer

Becky Palmer explains what it’s like to be a CMC producer and why she keeps coming back for more!   This is my third time producing a session for the Children's Media Conference. I’ve produced a creative keynote with Moshi Monsters’ Michael Acton-Smith, a session on crowdfunding and, for 2015, a session on Learning by app. Do you need prior knowledge? I produced a session the first time I attended CMC and found that I didn’t need advance knowledge before volunteering. There is an exec assigned to each session to give guidance and advice, a meeting in London and a…

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Warm Welcome in Sheffield

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2015 5:48pm by Linda Ross

Linda Ross, outlines how new-comers can navigate CMC and make new mates. Plus a free drink from your caring sharing CMC. First Timers Reception: Wednesday 1 July, 5-6pm in The Crucible Bar Arriving in Sheffield for the CMC can be daunting. At first glance, it looks like a huge gathering of old mates and people who’ve worked in Children’s for hundreds of years. But, in fact, around half the delegates to CMC, each year, are first-timers. So, if you’re feeling a bit shy – never fear. The CMC First Timer’s Reception is there to break you in. Kick your conference…

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Wednesday Workshop: Bible Class – Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 6:57am by Tom Jordan

Takeaways:  To create a strong pitch bible, you need to: Identify your target audience Identify your target investor/broadcaster Identify the competition Do your homework & do your groundwork Brainstorm with your creative team Understand your property inside out  In temperatures that could melt Sheffield steel, a hive of creative minds gathered in a darkened Hub 3 to learn from the experts about how to create a great pitch bible. This four-hour session was a workshop of biblical proportions, and it was testament to the wealth of expert knowledge that the only (temporary) exodus was for the tea break. That’s the…

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Wednesday Workshop: Make It With YouTube - Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 7:22am by Tracy Warren

There is no doubt that attendees of todays 4 hour session will be heading back to their hotels to strategise a YouTube campaign or work on improving their existing one. Hosted by Cedric Petitpas and Kate Rushworth from YouTube Kids & Learning EMEA, attendees were grouped together and challenged with experiments that demonstrated the essentials of a successful YouTube campaign. Takeaways When you upload content, make sure you have good metadata. Word placement does matter, so highlight the most important words first. Strengthen your digital strategy by knowing your audience and where they come from. Be confident in using analytics…

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Wednesday Workshop: Wear and Tear – Report

Posted on: Thursday 02 July 2015 6:45am by Hannah Lee

Takeaways Use digital and physical media for what each is best at; let them interact with each other Balance agency – give children a choice, but not too much! Consider cooperative play involving children, parents and the internet – target your audience and relate your idea to them Know your purpose and be specific. Fit your product to your purpose. The old adage: ‘less is more.’ The Workshop After a brief introduction, the workshop launched immediately into exploring ‘the shock of the new,’ more commonly known as digital media, which is upsetting old business models and moving away from more…

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Well Advised - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 5:08pm by Heather McDaid

Takeaway You need clarity about the purpose of the project from the start. If children hate your product, it doesn't matter how much you all like it. They're the most important. Media literacy and competency with technology are different things, often confused. Detail Host David Kleeman prefaces the event on working with academic advisors with a little bit of history: there was often a level of distrust between children's media makers and their advisors, but over the years that's seen a great improvement as people consistently seek to make suitable, better content to live up to the expected levels of…

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What Are Little Girls Made Of - Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 12:07pm by Jelena Stosic

Takeaway Girls are 50% of the population, but if you look at the media representation, they are outnumbered 3 to 1. Even when shown, they tend to appear as “eye candy” and not as true characters with developed story lines. Parents are the first programmers for children and the ones shaping their gender roles – both by being their role models and by choosing their media. Pre-school media teams market to them but often, the parents are more fixed in opinions of what children will watch than the children are themselves. (e.g. “a boy wouldn’t watch this”) It’s often said…

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What Were Little Girls Made Of?

Posted on: Sunday 16 August 2015 5:19pm

Producer David Twyman and Exec Marion Edwards reflect on the gender debate "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" at CMC.  A podcast of this session will be available very soon. So what should they be made of?  Sugar and spice and all things nice? Well, yes, if they'd like to be. The conclusion from this session's panel is that they should be instilled with the  confidence to be anything they want to be - nurse, doctor, astronaut, vet or engineer. And as content creators we have the duty to show this on screen. Exploring a rage of topics such as parental influence on children's viewing habits, the maleable…

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Preview - Focus on International

Posted on: Wednesday 01 July 2015 5:29pm by Guilherme Coelho

Guilherme Coelho, CEO / Co-founder - Ø1 Digital, is one of the international guests speaking at Focus on International on Thursday, 2nd July 2015, 17-18.00 @ HUBS B. Here, he gives a digital perspective on new ways to approach the international market. We are coming to CMC to share our experience on digital content distribution through Apps + VOD channels. We’re also here to gather new kids’ content to follow the successful strategy we‘ve achieved with many brands like ‘Lottie Dottie Chicken’ [or ‘Gallina Pintadita’], which has already more than three billion views on YouTube (Portuguese, Spanish and English), over 20…

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Preview - The Business of Digital

Posted on: Wednesday 01 July 2015 5:20pm by Juliet Tzabar

The Business of Digital, Thursday 2 July 2015, 11.10-12.20, Cinema 2 Digital content for kids is nothing new  - whether it’s a digital-first, online drama for teens; an app intended to teach preschoolers their ABCs; or a sandbox in which 6-10 year olds can use virtual building bricks to create whatever springs from their imaginations.  However, over the 20 or so years since people first created games and websites to entertain kids online and the 5 years since that first shiny iPad was handed to a toddler, has anyone but the biggest of players yet cracked how to make any…

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