innovator helps Sesame Street celebrate 30th
you know which Sesame Street character wears bib coveralls?
OK, here's a tougher one: Name the year in which Sesame Street
made its television debut.
you answered "Prairie Dawn" and "1969," you're either a Sesame
Street veteran from waaaay back, or you're among the many who
have been playing Sesame Street trivia at the Web site of the
celebrated children's show.
groundbreaking TV show that brought us Big Bird, Bert & Ernie,
and the rest of the gang is marking its 30th anniversary. As
part of the celebration, Guy Smiley is hosting an online trivia
game developed for Sesame Street by Web innovator PeopleSpace
Inc. While the game has been up and running for only a matter
of weeks, The Count already is having difficulty keeping a tally
of players. In fact, so many Sesame Street fans are playing,
PeopleSpace is having to move the game onto a larger server.
Television Workshop, which produces Sesame Street, believes
in the value of entertainment as a vehicle for education and
as an incentive for participation. That's why CTW turned to
PeopleSpace to develop the Sesame Street trivia game.
Sesame Street game really gives you an idea of what is happening
now in Web marketing," said PeopleSpace president Jack D. Smith.
"Web-savvy corporations will look at it and recognize the shape
of things to come."
a half century ago, companies like Texaco ("Texaco Star Theater,"
featuring Milton Berle), Kraft ("Kraft Television Theatre")
and Lincoln-Mercury ("Toast of the Town," which became "The
Ed Sullivan Shoe," er, "Show") jumped on the fledgling television
entertainment bandwagon. Today, farsighted corporate executives
are recognizing the cultural parallels and are scrambling for
a head start in offering entertainment at their Web sites. In
addition to CTW, the client list for PeopleSpace includes Fox
Sports, Service Merchandise, iVillage and others.
you're going to sell your products on the Web, you've got to
generate traffic to your site. And if your site features some
interactive entertainment, preferably a game and chat function,
you're halfway home," said Smith.
company, based in technology-minded Charlottesville, Va., has
been making a name for itself in Internet entertainment circles
with its custom-designed trivia games and "gamelets" - simple,
quick-play action games that require only a minimal download.
Both the trivia games and action gamelets are custom designed
to tie in with a company's products.
there are different modes of play. While PeopleSpace's more
budget-conscious clients may opt for a single-player game only,
many corporate customers go for the more competitive multiplayer
versions, where a player can pit his knowledge or skills against
(and, not incidentally, chat with) the fellow down the street,
across town, or even on another continent. Sesame Street offers
both single- and multiplayer options, although it does not offer
all seems new to a lot of people now," Smith laughs, "but very
soon it will be commonplace. When that happens, any company
in a highly competitive industry may find little advantage in
owning a Web site unless it can offer potential customers some
form of entertainment. And that's our niche."
Oscar the Grouch could see that.