Ah, youth. I remember back in olden times, children often played "brain-based" games that didn't depend on a digital device! Well, that's all in the past, and these days the iPhone is an essential part of play for many kids. As such, the market has transformed itself, churning out game apps faster than you can say "is Zynga hiring?"
Yet, the world of digital gaming has generally left something to be desired (at least from old fogies like me). Last week, a video of a baby trying to do the "iPad swipe" to an actual magazine ignited a spirited down-home flamewar (is there any other kind of YouTube commenter debate?) over the implications of the video. Was the baby a signal that we're allowing our children (and ourselves) to "fall into" the 2D screen, loosing our ability to enjoy, you know, "real life?" Or was the baby an enlightened content consumer?
Only a week before the iPad baby video "dropped," though, LEGO had released an iPhone app called Life of George that offers a reasonable compromise between the two. The game treads the treacherous ground between digital and physical play. As Fast.Co Design notes, Life of George challenges players to recreate an on-screen object using their LEGO - the correctness of which is scored by the app using augmented reality technology (i.e., the camera). Players "draw" using real life objects - a departure from typical iPhone games, which immerse players in the screen environment completely. Could there be a third path, between raising your child in a Faraday Cage or nursing your child using the iMilk app? Go check out Life of George here.