A Visit to Magic Town

Magic Town is a wonderful new virtual world experience for kids, that’s full of exciting stories and playful interactivity. The website is also supported by an iPad app that allows young users to enjoy Magic Town almost anywhere!

Created by some very clever people at Mindshapes, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a conversation with them about Magic Town, and thought I’d share the questions I asked.

“Louis the lion is a charming character. Will we get to make friends with other Magic Town natives in the future?”

“Louis the Storyteller lives at the big tree in the middle of the Magic Town landscape. Louis’ back story is that he has traveled the world, collecting stories, and brought them here to Magic Town for kids to enjoy. Every day you can visit Louis at the tree to get the new, free story of the day. If you subscribe, you get to keep the story forever. If you don’t subscribe, but just register to use the site, then you can read the story for free, for one day. Each child gets unique stories depending on how they set up their personal profile.”

Magic Town

“Other Magic Town characters include the guides Izzy and Max. They greet you when you start playing, and appear at different points when you go into the houses to read the stories, which we call Livebooks.

There are also a series of little critters all around the landscape. Click on them to see what happens.”

“Virtual World” can be a four-letter word to some parents. How do you convince parents that Magic Town is safe for their child to use?”

“We don’t see virtual world as a four letter word. In Magic Town, the world is a safe, fun place where children can read and play and explore, either alone, or with an adult. The more you read, the more houses appear in the landscape. The site does not have any advertising. There is no interaction between users. There is no social sharing. You can read our T&C and privacy policy here.

Magic Town

“How would you make a virtual world like Magic Town for older readers?”

“Magic Town is designed for kids ages 2 to 6+, but we know older kids like it too. Picture books are great for kids of all ages.”

“Also, we are getting ready to release a game called Language City. It’s a virtual world for adults to learn english as a foreign language.”

“What comes first, the story or the interactivity?”

“All of the stories in Magic Town are called Livebooks. There are four different ways to read a Livebook. You can read about that here.

Magic Town

“The Livebooks are lightly animated and interactive. When you are online, the points where you click to advance the story flash slightly. When you are in the app, the flash and you tap. The touchpoints all relate to key parts of the narrative.”

“How do you think children will read stories ten years from now?”

“We believe both printed books and digital books have a place in the lives of children today and in the future. Magic Town is designed to inspire kids to develop a life long love of reading and learning.”

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Copyright © 2016 Shane Lindley