Last week, six-year-olds at a Shanghai early-learning center became the first to experience Angry Birds Playground, a educational curriculum developed by Rovio in partnership with the University of Helsinki. The program covers a broad range of subjects and uses digital and physical materials, including a five-string instrument with which students will learn about music composition. Rovio vice-president Sanna Lukander says the program is “a full 360-degree approach to learning, where games are just one part of it.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Angry Birds Playground is based on the Finnish national curriculum, which has drawn a great deal of attention over the years. To that end, Lukander says it’s a combination of two successful brands, and Rovio is hoping to export it to other countries, with tweaks as needed. Not surprisingly, there’s some concern about it being yet another way to market to potential customers who are too young to resist, but Lukander points out that the company’s goals are much larger: “[L]ike many other media companies, [Rovio] has an educational arm. We’re trying to do something meaningful and good with these characters.”