Friday, June 01, 2007

Neopets Media Convergence: Neovision

Announcements for two new Neopets projects came out today, dealing with the brand's transition into television or webivision media...which the company has cleverly named "Neovision". The first, posted by Kidscreen, is a joint initiative with Nickelodeon, which will launch a series of "animated Neopets Mini-Shows" starting on June 23. The mini-shows will "introduce" (who hasn't heard of Neopets?!?) Nick-viewers to the website/MMOG, and give out clues that will unlock special games (advergames?) on the site.

The second item of interest can be found on Mediaweek (courtesy of anastasia at YPulse), which describes Neopets' new "broadband video player" feature ("Neovision"), which will showcase members' user-generated content "along with the site’s first stab at original fare--some of which will crossover to TV." The link between the two? You guessed it = synergy! According to Mediaweek:
Besides enhancing the Web site, those new Mini-Shows are heading to TV, as Nickelodeon will begin running various clips on June 23 to fill the gaps between its popular shows, and presumably to keep kids around during commercial breaks. The June launch marks the first time that Neopets, which parent company Viacom acquired nearly two years ago, has found its content make its way onto the network. "The Neopets Mini-Shows bring together Nickelodeon's powerhouse of expertise in making content for kids and tweens with the talented creative team at the Neopets studio," said Kyra Reppen, Neopets’ senior vp and general manager.

Neovision launched yesterday, and while I haven't had a chance to check it out, I am already intrigued by the research potential of this development and how well it fits into my thesis' focus on "child-generated content" in the converging digital media environment. Also, oddly enough, I've recently returned to playing Neopets: The Darkest Faerie on the PS2. The stars seem to be aligning to once again keep Neopets a prominent figure in my thesis research. *sigh*

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