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Vector City Racers: Great Game, Cool Contest

Jun 08, 2009

Vector Entertainment has created a cool new multiplayer online game and community geared toward boys 6-12 years old. All you have to do to play is go online to www.vectorcityracers.com and sign in as a guest – play starts instantly and you don’t have to download anything to your computer. You’ll be able to go to the mod shop where you can create your own custom racer (which can be entered in a contest to win a great prize) and, as soon as you’re done, start traveling around a world of fun and games, meeting new people and learning new things.

Kidzworld recently spoke to the creators of the game at Vector Entertainment to get the scoop behind the Vector City Racers game.

Gary: What is Vector City Racers?

Vector Entertainment: Vector City Racers is a different approach to a multiplayer online game. We wanted kids to be able to come to the site and play a game that’s much more kinetic and much more about being in the actual environment of the game than other programs out there. When we developed the game we sort of took a skateboarder approach to it. Skateboarders approach the world with a really unique perspective. They’re always looking at things and thinking, “How can I play on that?” We wanted to bring that same sensibility and approach to our game.

Gary: Who will like playing this game?

Vector Entertainment: Vector City Racers targets kids between the ages of six and 12, especially boys, but we really tried to make sure we incorporated things that lots of different audiences and players would enjoy. The game includes many different experiences for kids who like to do different kinds of things. For example, if you like exploring we have something for you to do. If you like competing we have stuff for you to do. If you like socializing and meeting friends we’ve got things for you to do. If you’re looking for a sense of achievement or accomplishment there is lots of that in the game. We tried to ensure there’s a bit of something for everyone there.

Gary: How can kids access the game?

Vector Entertainment: That’s one of the really great things about Vector City Racers. We made it really accessible to everyone. It’s all done in Flash so there are no downloads. You just go to the site, click on guest and go on to have a guest experience that really shows you different parts of the game. We really encourage you to register on the site so you can keep the experience you’ve gained playing the game and save your racer achievements and all the customization you’ve done, like building your own, personal, unique racer. The guest experience we’ve created so new players can see how the game works really lets you hit the ground running with no downloads and no time commitment.

Gary: What message and experience do you want to bring to kids though the game?

Vector Entertainment: We’re really hoping kids feel the experience is like going to a new playground. We approached it that way, too, in the way a kid would get to the playground and look around at all the different features, like the swing set and the slides and the different jungle gyms. We want kids to come to the game and think about all the possibilities and all the things the can do when they’re playing. We also tried to approach the design of the different cities in the game that way, so every city you visit has all sorts of activities and play spaces. When you play Vector City Racers you have fun and you get points for it.

Gary: What are some of the features of the game?

Vector Entertainment: Lots of games for kids constrain their players, and sort of put you in train tracks and tell you what you can and can’t do, or what you’re supposed to be doing when you play them. We didn’t want to have that rigid structure in Vector City Racers. Instead, we try to reinforce the fun things you want to do as a kid playing the game by giving you points for doing that and letting you explore and experience the world in unique ways. The racing aspect of the game lets you visit different cities, and every city has a unique race track so it’s always a different fun experience.

Can you tell us a bit more about the Modshop?

Vector Entertainment: Vector City Racers includes a feature called Modshop where you can create a unique racer to play the game with. It’s totally customizable and easy to use to create unique, personalized racers. We call them racers instead of cars because we don’t put limits on the kind of vehicle you race in throughout the game. We’ve got players running around in every kind of racer imaginable, from hot dog racers, to computer disc racers, to airplane racers, to bumblebee racers, so the tool is really open and lets kids create a number of things. It’s a great way to let kids really express themselves in interesting ways, and it’s an amazing feeling for us to have all these different racers racing around our world. Sometimes a new player will even see another player’s racer driving past them and think, “Oh my gosh! I can make something like that?”

Gary: Is this a safe game and a safe environment for kids to play in?

Vector Entertainment: Safety is a very important issue to us, especially because we’re inviting kids who are under 13 years old to play the game, so we were very aware about providing a safe play environment. We partnered up with Crisp Thinking, which is a mod tool that lets us oversee the chat that’s happening and look at who is creating a profile on our site so we can proactively catch bad chats and suspicious profiles as they’re happening instead of waiting to deal with complaints or problems after things happen. This really lets us create an environment where kids can talk about what they want and there’s no personally identifying information made available to anyone. We really are providing a safe environment where kids can play.

Gary: How can kids enter the Fastest Road To Fun contest?

Vector Entertainment: We’re offering the contest through Vector City Racers not only to promote the game to kids but also to show you how you can use the game’s Modshop as a standalone feature, meaning you don’t even need to be using the game to go into the Modshop and make your own custom racer and submit your design to the contest. We’ll judge the entries we receive and the grand-prize winner will receive tickets and roundtrip air travel to their choice of one of four national racing spectator events. Also, if you win the contest you’re racer will become one of the default vehicle option for guests who come to the site to play the game.

Gary: What is your partnership with the National Childhood Obesity Foundation (NCOF) about?

Vector Entertainment: We want to encourage kids to make wise choices and eat smart. We’re still working on our partnership with the NCOF and when Vector City Racers goes to a subscription model we’ll donate 25 cents for every monthly membership that’s made to the NCOF. We’re also looking at ways to bring that message to kids through the game but we haven’t implemented that just yet. However, it’s really important to us, since we’re involved in a kids’ space, to give back to our players, and we look at this partnership with the NCOF as a good way of doing that and bringing attention to a really important cause, which is the problem of childhood obesity among more and more kids these days.

Remember to visit www.vectorcityracers.com to start playing!

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