Is the Mouse Dead?
Earlier this month, the inventor of the computer mouse, Douglas C. Engelbart, passed away. His contributions unquestionably altered the future of computing for the better, but since hearing the news of his passing, we’ve been contemplating if the “death” of his famous invention might also be imminent.
Like many others, we’ve been thinking a lot lately about the future (or lack thereof) of desktop-specific gaming for kids. With Flash-based browser games a huge part of our portfolio, it’s in part a hard pill to swallow that there might not be a long shelf life for this content as it continues to come against tablet competition. We’ve even noticed in kid testing on both computers and touch-screen devices recently that there’s a huge divide, with younger users struggling to understand the mouse, and even attempting to swipe and tap the computer screen.
In response to this shift, we’ve been doing a lot more work over the past couple of years creating device-native apps and porting Flash content to apps via AIR. This has allowed us to repurpose existing content that might otherwise become obsolete as the paradigm continues to shift toward touch devices. More recently, we’ve also produced a lot of projects in HTML5, including a website, as well as several games and activities (all of which are launching in the fall). While we were initially hesitant about the limitations that HTML5 would put on design, animation and audio, we’ve been continually surprised with how quickly the technology is evolving to allow for engaging games that are playable across platforms. We’ve also been trying to push the boundaries of what’s doable as much as possible to make great games that meet our (ridiculously high) standards!
We’re excited to see how this technology continue to evolve, and whether or not desktop browser-only games will be a thing of the past before we know it…