The Magnificent Transmogrification Station lets kids make stop-motion magic by using the "Change-o-lever" to transform themselves into wondrous creatures. (Toronto-based fine-art duo Catshrine and Endless Films)
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It's about time Pong and foosball came together and inspired a fast-paced multi-player game. If there is not one already, we believe the world would also benefit from an adult version. (Super Pong, Rio de Janeiro interactive studio Super Uber.)
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Big Bird is large, and yellow, and extremely friendly, and it's not difficult to understand why kids four and up would enjoy using Big Bird’s Word-o-Scope to recognize and read specific groups of words. (Big Bird’s Words, TIFF Kids in partnership with Sesame Workshop.)<br />
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Kids, unlike their parents, might not immediately squeal with delight when they hear the words "immersive homage to the classic retro videogame Paperboy"—but as this installation involves getting to sit on a bike with a virtual-reality headset and ride along a virtually realized paper route, they'll probably be pretty delighted. (PaperDude VR, Toronto studio Globacore)
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Racetrack. Colour-changing balls. Colour-changing balls that also happen to be robotic and controlled by mobile devices. Enough said. (Sphero Speedway; Colorado-based gaming company Orbotix Inc., presented in partnership with the creators of Sphero)<br />
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Building robots should be difficult and something that happens only in labs filled with scientists—except that by snapping together Cubelets, which are a kind of magnetic block, you can make all kinds of different robots and not have to know the first thing about wiring or programming. (TIFF Kids, in partnership with US-based Modular Robotics)<br />
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Arduino is a micro-controller system that can help kids create all kinds of prototypes and projects. Perhaps these prototypes and projects can also somehow incorporate the robots they recently built using only magnetic blocks.
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In the good old days, when children were obliged to use their imaginations, the process was quite an arduous one and involved doing things like pretending wooden blocks were castles and an overturned salad bowl was one half of the Death Star. Now, it seems, kids are handed things like magnetic blocks and virtual-reality helmets and use their imagination to build fully functioning robots.
From March 8–April 21, TIFF Kids International Film Festival will be hosting the third annual TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace, an exhibition featuring interactive installations, DIY activities, and a whole lot of games. The young ones can focus on reading skills with Big Bird while the older ones are racing colour-changing robotic balls. And the young at heart of all ages can focus on answering the age-old question: “What do you get when you cross foosball and Pong?”