MiniMonos: A Virtual World for Kids, Inspired by An Inconvenient Truth

Please give a warm 5 Minutes for Going Green welcome to our newest guest poster, Andrea Deely. Andrea is a blogger at the new virtual world for kids, MiniMonos and a passionate green advocate.

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Melissa Clark-Reynolds, Founder of MiniMonos

Al Gore’s movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ caused an epiphany for mother-of-two Melissa Clark-Reynolds and put her on the pathway to creating MiniMonos, a virtual world for good green kids.

Seeing Melissa’s tears during the movie, her husband solicitously suggested she have a cup of tea to calm down, but tea wasn’t going to cut it for Melissa. She wasn’t going to rest until she got hold of Mr Gore himself. For a random woman living at the bottom of the world, this was a tall (some would say crazy) order. But after enormous persistence — she jokes that they said ‘Yes’ just to shut her up — Al Gore’s organisation, The Climate Project, agreed for her to be personally trained by Gore to present ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. To date, she’s delivered more than 25 climate change presentations in her home country of New Zealand.

Melissa also wanted to inspire kids worldwide with her passion for the environment, aligning this with her career as an IT entrepreneur. As a result, she is creating MiniMonos, a virtual world for 6- to 10-year-olds.

MiniMonos (which means ‘Little Monkeys’ in Spanish) is designed to encourage kids to think about their impact on the environment; however, there are two stipulations: it mustn’t be preachy and it must be fun. With this in mind, award-winning games writer Deborah Todd (whose published titles include Curious George Comes Home, Blue’s Clues 123 Time and 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil) has written the MiniMonos story:

Deep in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle is a tropical island paradise inhabited by the fun-loving and highly evolved MiniMonos monkeys. Completely absent of any human interference and left to their own devices, the MiniMonos monkeys have evolved into the world’s most highly intelligent and playful creatures.

These little monkeys understand the importance of having fun, being a good part of their community and keeping their island a beautiful place to live and play.

Legend has it that all kinds of mysterious things happen in the Bermuda Triangle, and sometimes the results of these things show up here on MiniMonos. Compasses go wild, UFOs are spotted here more than any place on Earth, and the area is even believed to have wormholes to make travel though time and space a whole lot faster.

Other stuff washes up on shore, too, things that don’t belong in the water get caught in the reef, find their way into the lagoon, and generally make a mess of this tropical island paradise – like plastic bags, tin cans, bottles, and other types of junk. These things make their way here because some humans are careless with trash, and the winds and the Gulf Stream carry them to the island.

This human junk can make things on the island run amok fast, so the monkeys are quick to handle this stuff and keep their island running smoothly.

From this exciting background, Deborah is writing mini-games and quests, creating treasure hunts in undersea caves, and designing sunken wreckage and UFOs. Recycled ‘treasure’ can help to form a jungle band, make a cool beach sculpture or have a UFO glow fight! But sometimes players might need to work to clear the plastic and other rubbish out of the way in order to complete their quests. There will be electromagnetic surprises, wild trade winds, cave adventures, cool treehouses and beautiful gardens to tend. And MiniMonos will always be a safe, fun place to come and make friends, play games together and chat.

We would love you to become part of the MiniMonos kids’ and parents’ community and give us feedback as MiniMonos develops. By simply logging on to MiniMonos, playing on the island (it’s free) and telling the MiniMonos team in a few words what you think, you will give a child in India clean water for a month. You’ll also become part of a group of parents who are committed to a fun, sustainable and safe environment for kids.

Hope to see you on the island!

One Response to MiniMonos: A Virtual World for Kids, Inspired by An Inconvenient Truth
  1. Arnold40
    October 22, 2009 | 9:13 pm

    We have abdicated our political duty. ,