SALT LAKE CITY (April 12, 2013)—Smart Bomb Interactive is excited to announce a Webby Award nomination for National Geographic Animal Jam (www.animaljam.com) in the “Websites: Games” category. The Webby Awards honor the best of the Web and are the Internet’s most respected symbol of success.
With a strong emphasis on the natural world, self-expression and fun, National Geographic Animal Jam, a free-to-play online game, has grown exponentially in the past year, proving that the right mix of fun and educational content resonates with the under-13 market.
“We’re extremely flattered and excited to be nominated for a Webby Award, especially in the highly competitive ‘Games’ category,” said Clark Stacey, CEO of Smart Bomb Interactive, the company that created and operates Animal Jam. “We’re encouraging our fans and players to vote now for Animal Jam and show that educational games can also be fun.”
Kids, parents and fans can vote for National Geographic Animal Jam at http://pv.webbyawards.com/nominees/web/general-website/games from now until April 25; winners will be announced on April 30. The 17th Annual Webby Awards received 11,000 entries from all 50 U.S. states and more than 60 countries. “Games” category nominees are selected for recognition based on excellence in content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity and overall experience.
Winners are chosen by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization whose newest members include Tumblr founder David Karp, New York City Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne and Laughing Squid founder Scott Beale. Other members include CEO of Rovio Mikael Hed, co-founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom, director Darren Aronofsky, Martha Stewart, Huffington Post Media Group President Arianna Huffington, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, musician David Bowie, Internet co-creator Vint Cerf, Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson and R/GA Chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg.
National Geographic Animal Jam has grown primarily by word of mouth, which makes the nomination even more impressive. With players averaging more than 65 minutes of gameplay per session and collectively watching over 60,000 minutes of educational video daily, they are engaged not just in the social aspects of traditional virtual world gameplay but also in the various educational components of the game. From custom video content from scientists like National Geographic Emerging Explorer and marine biologist Tierney Thys and reptile expert Brady Barr to fact-collecting for rewards, players are continuously exposed to rich multimedia educational content in new and engaging ways.
About National Geographic Animal Jam
Take on the role of your favorite animal and get ready to “Play Wild!” Your animal avatar can explore the massive land of Jamaa, from Coral Canyons to the Bahari Bay, while making new friends, participating in fun parties and customizing your den. Discover awesome facts about the plants, animals and natural wonders around you. National Geographic Animal Jam is an online virtual playground for children who love animals and the outdoors, and is the result of an ongoing creative collaboration between Smart Bomb Interactive and National Geographic. With a goal of providing a fun, exciting and safe environment for kids to play online, National Geographic Animal Jam also inspires kids to explore and protect the natural world outside their doors.
Players can look forward to exciting expansions and events coming to Animal Jam throughout 2013. Fans can stay in the loop by following the Animal Jam blog http://blog.animaljam.com, the game’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PlayAnimalJam or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/playanimaljam.
About Smart Bomb Interactive
Smart Bomb Interactive is a leading developer of online worlds and F2P games for players of all ages. Founded by game industry veterans in 2003, Smart Bomb has assembled a team that includes internationally acclaimed artists, engineers, designers, educators, online safety experts, and media professionals from many different disciplines. Together they create cutting-edge interactive entertainment for families, from online casual games to triple-A action titles. Smart Bomb is privately held, with development studio locations in Salt Lake City and Seattle.
About National Geographic
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.