What If…One Million Families Made Play a Priority?
Play is for Everyone
It’s birthday month at SimplyFun and a time for us to celebrate our mission along with the families we have touched through SimplyFun game play. We measure our success by watching the number of families grow that acquire and play our games each year. And we don’t mean just some or certain families, but all families. Play is in fact a universal right of children everywhere as stated in Article 31.1 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We continue to work to improve our diversity and inclusivity both as a company and within our products. This is a continuous process that is ongoing as we learn and grow together. We are not perfect, but we are trying hard. Recently however, it was shared with me that because of the biases of one segment of our customer community they did not think we should be allowed to share our games or show support to another segment of our customer community. Essentially, they believed that SimplyFun game play should be shared only with those they felt worthy, but not for all. When did play become another weapon in a war to marginalize segments of our society that are already hurting? I must admit, I was stunned.
Our Play Environment
We work hard to keep our play environments safe havens for children. For example, we do not allow guns or violence in our games. We do not include over sexualized anime graphics. We carefully select language that is both diverse and inclusive. We often pose questions through our Chat Rings – and sometimes within our games – that we feel families should talk about together. But we don’t provide answers, recognizing that each family needs to develop their own responses. However, we do want to be a catalyst for those conversations to occur because we see them as necessary for children to be prepared so that they may enter the world at large as adults more successfully.
Play is our Partner
To many in the business world we are a small company, just working towards our first million families. After all, McDonalds sells 225 million burgers worldwide a year. Over 100 million LEGO mini figures are sold each year. But we are a company with a deep heart and a determination to do better with each passing day. Whether it is through our Play it Forward corporate campaign which has now brought several hundred free games to two local elementary schools to support afterschool, STEAM, and other programs. Or with our longstanding relationships with Toys for Tots and My Stuff Bags. Or for our consultants that spend their February’s each year working with hosts to give games to local charities across the country; we demonstrate what it means to love and not to hate.
We are not going to stop being who we are. We are a company that believes every child has the right to the safety and joy of play regardless of the beliefs of their parents or the circumstances in their lives. What if one million families made play a priority in their lives? How might that improve their social emotional growth? How might that help kick-start curiosity and academic interests? How might that help kids learn to communicate, to cooperate and to have compassion? What the world needs now is love. Those thoughts were true in 1965 when that famous song was released, but even more true today. Let’s let ‘play’ be our partner to help bring us together, because play has always been and will always be for everyone!
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