SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- National Geographic Animal Jam, an online virtual world that teaches kids ages 5-11 about animals and nature, today announced it has surpassed six million registered players. The game, which has experienced 500% year-over-year growth, is one of the fastest-growing online kids properties worldwide. Animal Jam is unique in the online kids gaming space in that it offers youngsters the opportunity to interact in-game with real-life world-renowned animal experts and provides ways for players to directly aid real-life conservation projects.
"Animal Jam is a fun, creative and safe place for kids around the world to interact with one another," said Natalie Shahmiri, Director of Marketing for Smart Bomb Interactive, the creators of Animal Jam. "While they are engaged in game play, kids are consuming vast amounts of educational content and are inspired to learn more about the natural world through their direct interaction in-game with world renowned scientists. It has been incredible to see Animal Jammers' dedication to conservation projects, and we plan to expand on that program later this year.
Animal Jammers can donate their accumulated "Gems" in the game's Conservation Museum to support real-life conservation efforts around the world. To date, players' engagement in the virtual world has enabled Smart Bomb Interactive to contribute more than $3 million to the National Geographic Society.
Every day, about a third of Animal Jam's 125,000 daily players visit Brady Barr's in-game laboratory or Tierney Thys' aquarium area to interact with these world-renowned animal experts. The in-game "Brady Barr Laboratory" encourages kids to learn more about his work, the tools he uses and his crazy encounters with animals around the world through video clips, games and Q&A sessions with Brady himself. Tierney Thys' aquarium is a portal in the undersea world for kids to learn about aquatic life, as well as the research methods and tools used by marine biologists around the world. And much like Brady's Laboratory, the aquarium includes a Q&A video component; plus educational video footage from Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA.
Throughout the game's fantasy world of Jamaa, kids discover real-world animal and nature facts while having fun and socializing with other young members around the world. Players create an animal avatar, taking on the persona of one of their favorite animals. As they uncover the secrets of this constantly changing world, kids enjoy free games and e-books from National Geographic Kids Books, customize their animal characters, build their own den, chat with friends, and learn about animals and nature through the vast multimedia resources of National Geographic. Players are rewarded with virtual items for collecting facts about animals, watching short educational video clips supplied by National Geographic, and interacting with other educational content in the game. Every day in Animal Jam almost half a million animal facts are collected by players, and over 6,000 minutes of NatGeo animal videos are viewed.
Animal Jam is free to play and accepts no advertising. Paid memberships are available, which provide access to premium content and support the conservation missions of the National Geographic Society. One such mission supported by Animal Jam memberships is the Big Cats Initiative, a global habitat preservation and education project in defense of endangered felines. Other benefits of membership include exclusive clothing and den items, unique in-world abilities and special chat animations, sneak peek access to new features, a member newsletter and more. One month memberships are $5.95, or parents can save some money with discounted multiple-month deals: a six month membership is $29.95 and a 12 month membership is $49.95. To explore Animal Jam, visit www.animaljam.com.
About Smart Bomb Interactive
Smart Bomb Interactive is a Salt Lake City-based development studio whose mission is to combine talent, tools and fun. Founded in 2003 by video game industry veterans, Smart Bomb Interactive has since grown to include parents, educators, online safety experts and children's media professionals. The company creates interactive entertainment for families with an emphasis on substance and safety. Smart Bomb Interactive is funded by Signal Peak Ventures. For more information, visit http://www.smartbombinteractive.com.
About National Geographic Ventures
National Geographic Ventures (NGV) is a wholly owned, taxable subsidiary of National Geographic Society. Founded in 1888 to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," the National Geographic Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. NGV, part of the editorial group National Geographic Global Media, includes National Geographic Television production and distribution, National Geographic Television International, Digital Media (including Nationalgeographic.com) and National Geographic Interactive Platforms Group, encompassing National Geographic's mobile, games, interactive publishing and maps business groups. NGV creates and distributes content across multi-platforms and media, providing outlets for the hundreds of scientific and expedition-based grants awarded each year. For more information, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com.
SOURCE Smart Bomb Interactive