As kids, we loved pushing buttons on ATMs when our parents went to the bank. The combination of the physical with the digital was a fascinating frankenstein that made us eager to be old enough to open a bank account. It was similar with cash registers, voting booths, and old word processors. The cache of doing a job, earning money, and making transactions was alluring.
Kidtropolis is a town that allows children to skip the wait and experience some of these joys for themselves. "Citizens" of Kidtropolis can work the digital register in a grocery store or diner, type stories at the local television station, vote in an hourly city council election, collect Kidtropolis currency, and then deposit and withdraw from Chase-branded ATMs — thanks partly to a collaboration between Moey, Inc. and Major Robot.
Major Robot's handiness with data design, CMS development, and API programming was a happy complement to Moey's expertise designing and building highly unique interactive experiences. The infrastructure that we produced married a smart user tracking system tied to physical "KidCards" given to museum guests with a bank account system tracking deposits and debits from the town's ATMs. We also produced a CMS that allows Museum staff to change the products offered in the Kidtropolis diner and supermarket, provide different writing prompts for the news station, and create new candidates and issues for the town's mock elections.
We may never be city planners or the architects of some utopia, but Kidtropolis lets us try out the job for a little while.
Images courtesy of Moey, Inc.