by Dean Takahashi
"Hawkins — the charismatic founder of game publishers 3DO, Electronic Arts, and Digital Chocolate — has a new passion to teach children the social and emotional skills (SEL) that they don’t learn in school. He has a story-based app that gets lessons across that help kids deal with emotions and problems like bullies. But rather than launch it as a free-to-play game, Hawkins has gone a different route, releasing it instead as a subscription game....
"While the first chapter is free, subsequent chapters require a monthly subscription fee of $5 per month. Hawkins believes that parents will like this better than the somewhat risky free-to-play model, where children sometimes get into trouble by spending too much real money on virtual goods.
"Hawkins also said that each chapter will contain a few hours of gameplay as parents don’t want games to consume an inordinate amount of a child’s time. The dashboard app is a tool for parents to help monitor their children’s accomplishments and keep them motivated to do more.
"Hawkins said that the game is aimed at helping kids manage difficult emotions, persevere through challenges, make healthy decisions, and show empathy and compassion. As important as all of this is, most schools don’t teach it."