San Francisco, Calif. – Common Sense Media, the national nonprofit dedicated to helping kids thrive in a digital world, today announced the third annual GameOn!, an event and fundraiser for families to experience the fun and creative side of technology. The event will take place on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, Calif. Interactive game trucks and tablets will be loaded with games and apps selected using Common Sense Media's ratings — for age-appropriateness, quality, and learning potential — which are designed to help parents make smart choices about the media in their kids' lives. The afternoon also will feature plenty of offline activities for kids of all ages. Families will walk away with all the guidance they need to find fun, enriching interactive media that they can feel good about, and it's all for a great cause.
"Video games, apps, and other digital media are transforming the way our kids learn and play, and parents and educators are eager for information about making the most of the media and technology in their kids' lives," said James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense. "GameOn! is a great opportunity for families to enjoy offline and online games together, to recognize that digital media can go hand in hand with movement, play, and learning and that in fact some of the games that we rate most highly promote learning while being entertaining."
Activity highlights include:
- Skylanders Trap Team™ sneak preview: Be one of the first to play before the official game release on October 5, and have your photo taken with the mighty Eruptor!
- Digital and traditional painting: Create and explore your hidden talents guided by Shakuntala Zakheim, art instructor to families of celebrity clients including Heidi Klum.
- Two Bit Circus will bring its three most popular interactive exhibits — the Buttonwall, Hexacade, and J.S. Joust — plus a brand-new attraction inspired by classic strongman games.
- Scratch DJ Academy (founded by Jam Master Jay of RunDMC): Learn how to spin like a real DJ with instructors DJ Red Con and DJ Dos-a.
Notable attendees in 2013 included Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Grey, Clark Gregg, former NBA stars Baron Davis and Jarron Collins, and Tom Schaar (youngest-ever X Games gold medalist in skateboarding). In 2012, basketball legend Pau Gasol joined the fun, playing video games with kids. Food will be provided by Bowled and Beautiful, Let's Be Frank, the Urban Oven, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and more.
"GameOn! showcases Common Sense Media’s media-content ratings in a really fun and engaging way," said Mike Tollin, cochair of GameOn!, Common Sense board member, and cochair of Mandalay Sports Media. "The result is a truly one-of-a-kind event that celebrates quality media, a core part of Common Sense's mission, and a fantastic opportunity for the entertainment industry to celebrate along with us."
Common Sense Media rates apps, games, websites, books, TV shows, and movies based on age-appropriateness to help parents make fully informed decisions. Common Sense Media's ratings rely on developmental criteria from the nation's leading child-development authorities to determine what content is appropriate for which ages. The newest apps, games, and websites also include a rating for learning, which evaluates each for its ability and intent to teach both core and 21st-century skills. Every review also includes discussion questions for families and a quality rating on a standard five-star scale.
GameOn! is made possible in part by the generous support of Activision, the Wasserman Foundation, DreamWorks Animation, and IMAX, as well as in-kind donations from sponsors including Fiji Water and Sprinkles Cupcakes. GameOn! is open to members of the press; please use the contact information below to RSVP. The event also can be followed on Twitter using #GameOn2014. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.commonsensemedia.org/gameon.
All proceeds benefit Common Sense, allowing us to provide our free resources, including our K–12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum, to families and educators in more than 2,000 independent and public schools, afterschool programs, and youth-serving organizations across all communities in LA.
About Common Sense
Common Sense is an independent nonprofit dedicated to helping kids harness the power of media and technology as a positive force, empowering families and educators with unbiased ratings and reviews, trusted advice, and innovative tools. Common Sense Media is committed to helping families make smart media choices with the largest, most trusted library of independent, age-based ratings and reviews for everything kids want to watch, play, read, and learn. Common Sense Education provides schools with research-based classroom curricula and tools that teach students how to make smart decisions in the digital world and help teachers use technology to propel student learning. Through its work with policy makers, industry leaders, legislators, and a grassroots community of parents and teachers, Common Sense is improving the media and technology landscape for all kids, families, and schools. For more information, go to www.commonsense.org.