Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cartoon Room

Some brewpubs in our area have discovered that having a "children at play" zone attracts the young family clientèle they seek. Of course not every shop serves the same demographic or zip code so read no further if under-age means not through the door.

Once in, you needn't imagine a passive viewing studio, kids glued to a big screen. In some toys, the LCD is no larger than a postage stamp, with MPEGs in firmware. Calling it a "cartoon room" isn't meant to inspire panic among the "kill your television" crowd. If you want your Lincoln Logs to actually be non-virtual, we have a special set in the back (just don't let her swallow any).

Again, it all depends on the shop, plus screens might be turned off during "quiet time" (e.g. Cubespace has "quiet cubes").

To change the subject slightly, we went to some "macaroni palace" downtown, very suave decor, but they had these huge wooden beams apparently supporting no weight, just suspended by metal cable from the ceiling, the walls supporting each end. What's up with that? If you need "big wood", at least make sure it stays busy, serves a real purpose. Or were they keeping the walls from falling inward?

If self schooling is the focus (is this an "edu-mall" of some kind?) then your toyz might be robots, the cartoons more like event driving GUIs i.e. instrumentation atop some device-level API. Add a Python instructor and you've got the beginnings of a kick ass school.

But then testing gets more controlled and in coffee shops we tend to shy away from severity. We define a safe hang out between visits to the dentist as it were.

That being said, you could still have a friendly coach, like at OMSI, and a gift shop, selling some of these same toyz, ka-ching (and a big bonus for some worthy cause, would you like a table sir?).