Inspiration

I loved pretend play and storytelling as a kid and as a teenager. Unfortunately, modern toys and gadgets don’t encourage children to make up interesting stories or role play. I hope this Alexa Skill encourages children to experiment with ideas and emotions.

What it does

It randomly generates kid-oriented (kindergarten and up) roles and goals for various popular genres (fantasy, sci-fi, modern day, etc). Kids use these roles and goals as seeds for their own pretend play. Children love acting out stories since it gives them the freedom to take on new roles and experiment with ideas and emotions. Pretend play is not only fun, it is also important for children's cognitive and social development. Once kids get started, they tend to take their make-believe play in all kinds of unexpected, creative, and interesting places.

How I built it

I used node.js and javascript along with AWS Lambda and DynamoDB services. I used VSCode as my IDE.

Challenges I ran into

Creating a voice interaction interface that is simple enough for a kindergartner to use, and yet able to convey complex story ideas like character and plot.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Developing a skill in 4 days that is fun!

What I learned

Alexa's voice recognition isn't very good for small children and kids react to random roles/goals in unexpected and delightful ways!

What's next for Pretend Quest

Make an adult version for parties and hanging out with friends (in my copious free time d:-)

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