Looking back, it looks like the ponycorns managed to sneak away right past this site last week. Such a shame, considering they're not just a pony, not just a unicorn, but something altogether more awesome: hence ponycorn.
They did manage to sneak right into Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure, but Sissy needs you to help her find them!
If the idea sounds rather cutesy and childlike, it's because it is both. Created by five-year-old Cassie at Toronto's TOJam (with the help of her father), it manages to do what I believe a lot of games marketed toward children miss (from what I've seen--I don't necessarily make a habit of playing beaucoup amounts). That is, it has a certain charm to it that tells you this was not just an attempt to cash in on a license, but to tell a story and be simple to play.
However, the story is even more endearing when you read her parents' account of the event. It's also a sober reminder of the sex disparity in the game industry, and how as a culture, women interested in sciences, math, or technical positions are generally discouraged. Then one has to consider how women gamers are typically treated. Which is why it's so amusing seeing a young girl make a game she wanted to make, theoretically reflecting her interests. Since Cassie is learning from a young age that she can do this, it seems like she's developing many of the skills and confidence levels she would need to pursue this vocation, if she wanted (and below the game itself, her parents are accepting donations that will go toward Cassie's education).
Therefore, while this doesn't really innovate in any particular fashion, it shows that games can simply be amusements, and that's okay. At age five I was writing about a baby killer whale who goes to find his mother, but encounters nifty fish friends on the way (my mother still has that hidden away somewhere), so it's nice to see both a kid's imagination having fun and getting to see what she's being taught.
Whatever Cassie may end up doing in the future, at least she's shared ponycorns with us all.