Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure is a children’s flash game that takes around five minutes to play which doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary, until I mention that the words and art for this flash game were done by the game’s target audience, a five year old girl.
Cassie Creighton and her dad, Ryan Henson Creighton, created Sissy’s Magical Pony Corn Adventure. What started out as a simple “father daughter project” turned phenomenon. The game got a lot of attention and ended up giving a nice boost to Cassie’s college fund. But the bigger picture, according to Ryan, was reforming children’s technology education.
The little game that could…did. Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure landed Ryan and Cassie a TED talk. Little Cassie, six-years-old strolls out onto the TED stage with her Father and very well spoken describes her game. Including what they used to make the game, “a red laptop, a big box of crayons, a stack of paper, a microphone and a bunch of ponies so I knew how to do draw a pony.”
The small picture is that a five-year-old and her dad create a game that gets them money and a TED talk. The bigger picture, to me, is that a dad let his daughter draw a world and he turned it into a reality.
The father daughter relationship gets a lot of attention. Father’s can really mess up their kids. Every time I see a girl wearing a skirt that doesn’t even cover her vagina I always shake my head and think, “Step it up, Dads”. But here is a Dad that’s doing it right. He let his daughter be creative, he joined in her world, and he let her lead. He also showed her a way to take her creativity and turn it into something real. Something tangible.
So often I hear parents tell their kids to, “Reach for the stars”. That’s fine, that’s wonderful. But you need to show them how. Sometimes the stars can seem really far away, and if no one every showed you that you can use this kind of ladder to get to them…how would you know? Too often I hear the time withered phrase, “do as I say, not as I do”. I think it’s time we change that. I think it’s time that parents lead by example.
There is a really strong theory in psychology: you only understand your own reality. Parents create their kids reality and the kids continue to populate it. In theory, if you show your kid that you can draw your own ladder and reach the stars whose to say they won’t invent a new way to succeed. To grow. To break the cycle.