Children´s book publisher moves into virtual worlds

Unique digital platform employed to power virtual world

31 OCTOBER 2011, UK & FINLAND
Summary
Virtual world development studio, Dubit, has been appointed by Finnish Publisher, Dramaforum, to partner with them in developing a virtual world for their Petra’s Planet franchise, which originates from their children´s book series Petra. In a move to bring these stories to life online, Dramaforum is using a specialist digital entertainment platform created by Dubit. Its narrative scripting language or “Adventure Engine” allows children to visit the countries in a browser-based virtual world.

Virtual world development studio, Dubit, has been appointed by Finnish Publisher, Dramaforum, to partner with them in developing a virtual world for their Petra’s Planet franchise, which originates from their children´s book series Petra.

The series of books follow Petra, a young girl who is transported to different countries through her mother’s magical theatre wardrobe. Petra visits Senegal, Sri Lanka, Samiland*, and Jordan, learning about the different cultures and customs through meeting characters in the stories.

In a move to bring these stories to life online, Dramaforum is using a specialist digital entertainment platform created by Dubit. Its narrative scripting language or “adventure engine” allows children to visit the countries in a browser-based virtual world and take part in the adventures, as they explore the globe.

The new platform upgrades Dramaforum's current online experience for Petra’s Planet, as Dubit Platform allows the virtual world to be delivered as a new App on iPad and other mobile devices – essential for any children’s product online. In addition, the platform allows Dramaforum to easily add new countries, quests, virtual items, and engaging new content Through the expansion of the site across the world and across different media, Petra’s Planet will encourage children to explore and learn about the worlds they visit.  Like the books, the world will aid children’s natural sense of curiosity, playfulness and desire to explore.

Dubit’s chief technical officer, Matthew Warneford said: “Children are spending more time online and playing in virtual worlds. Currently there are more than 972m virtual world accounts registered to children aged 5-15 and this number is growing. For publishers, virtual worlds can act as the perfect brand-extension for their books. They allow children to engage with their favourite stories in ways that have not been possible before as well as providing educational benefits.

“We believe, and our research shows, that a strong story is integral to an engaging virtual world for children, so to work on a story like Petra’s Planet is a fantastic opportunity.”

Eevamaria Halttunen, founder of Petra’s Planet, said: “Petra´s Planet was created because I wanted a safe online environment for kids. We at Dramaforum feel that our globe is an extremely interesting place full of new exciting things to discover and learn about. Through Petra´s Planet we want to give children an opportunity to explore and discover socially the wonders of the world safely from home.”

Petra´s Planet allows children to explore the world through games and quests which promote cultural learning, creativity, cooperation and decision making. Children will also be able to care for virtual pets, decorate their room, socialize with friends and make  new friends in a safe online environment

Petra’s Planet will be free-to-play and subscription packages will be available along with the option to purchase virtual items.

Ends

Released by Dubit Limited, for more information contact Paul Rayment on 0113 3947 931 or email paul.rayment@dubitlimited.com

Notes to editors

*Samiland is a region in Northern Europe and Northern parts of Fennoscandia in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

About Dubit Platform

Dubit Platform is part of the leading youth marketing agency, Dubit Limited.

Pioneers in their field Dubit launched Dubit Chat in 2000. It was the first 3D Flash community made by the youth for the youth.

Since 2000 Dubit Platform has created virtual worlds, avatars and environments for clients in Europe and America that include, among others, the BBC, Cartoon Network and Real Madrid.

Dubit is committed to making online a safe and enjoyable environment for children and regularly contributes to debates regarding online safety.

Contact Details:                                                                   

The Half Roundhouse

Roundhouse Business Park

Wellington Road

Leeds

LS12 1DR

Tel: 0113 3947920

Online:

Dubit Platform: http://dubitplatform.com

About Dramaforum:

Dramaforum Oy Ltd is a media company specializing in children´s products, including Petra´s Planet virtual world and Petra book series.

Dramaforum contact details:  Johanna Eriksson, Marketing Manager, +358 40 181 0756, johanna.eriksson@dramaforum.fi

For more on the Petra series visit http://dramaforum.fi/en/tuotteet/petra-kirjasarja/

Dramaforum Oy Ltd

Metsänneidonkuja 4

02130 Espoo

FINLAND

www.dramaforum.fi/en

Quotes
"“Petra´s Planet was created because I wanted a safe online environment for kids. We at Dramaforum feel that our globe is an extremely interesting place full of new exciting things to discover and learn about. Through Petra´s Planet we want to give children an opportunity to explore and discover socially the wonders of the world safely from home.”" Eevamaria Halttunen, founder of Petra’s Planet
"Children are spending more time online and playing in virtual worlds. Currently there are more than 972m virtual world accounts registered to children aged 5-15 and this number is growing. For publishers, virtual worlds can act as the perfect brand-extension for their books. They allow children to engage with their favourite stories in ways that have not been possible before as well as providing educational benefits. “We believe, and our research shows, that a strong story is integral to an engaging virtual world for children, so to work on a story like Petra’s Planet is a fantastic opportunity.”" Dubit’s chief technical officer, Matthew Warneford
Spokespeople
  • Default avatar2

    Paul Rayment

    PR Manager
    +44 113 3947 931 (DD)
    +44 113 2987 337 (Fax)
    Dubit Twitter: dubit
    Personal Twitter: paulruk
About Dubit

Dubit works with children's entertainment brands to research, build, and market new digital experiences. Harnessing a kid-focussed approach to development, Dubit puts young people at the centre of the design process by involving them throughout the design and production of the world or app.

Formed in 2000, Dubit has been working with global brands to create digital experiences that children love. Dubit’s research services have been employed by the likes of Mind Candy, Disney and Sky, and its game development studio created the first browser-based multiplayer virtual world for Cartoon Network and the BBC.

Among many current projects, Dubit is currently developing a virtual world to accompany the forthcoming Legends of Oz movie and providing research and development services for an educational project for American network PBS.

For more information on other Dubit projects, visit: http://www.dubitlimited.com/projects.

Dubit is committed to making the internet a safe and enjoyable environment for children. Dubit were founder members of the Internet Taskforce on Child Protection, and advise on ethical marketing for brands around the world.

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