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An Interactive Drawing Game for Children

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, December 4, 2008

An interactive drawing game that teaches children to read. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's a game that was conceived at Microsoft Research.....where Margaret Johnson worked before launching a startup called Sabi. And now the company has launched its first title...for children four and up called Itza Bitza. Johnson says it uses technology called Living Ink....that lets the drawings they are prompted to create on screen with a mouse...come to life...

"They draw the house with the mouse. And as they are drawing the house, they create a door or windows or something...it could be anything they like. It could look like a pumpkin, it could look any way you want. That's kind of our secret magic. Once they finish that, the character can then open the door, can go inside it, will go upstairs, look inside the windows. The child can click on the windows and just interact with the objects so that now that the child's art becomes part of the game cart. If the kid doesn't like that drawing they can get rid of it and redraw it and redraw it. It's like a drawing toy..kind of like Etch a Sketch meets the 21st century."

The child learns to read to select his or her choices in the program...which is based on a three year collaborative effort started at Microsoft with learning researchers. (sound)

Itza Bitza sells for about twenty dollars. You can find more information at sabigames.com. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin