The Associated Press gamifies video archives via paid mobile puzzle


AP Video Puzzles, a mobile puzzle application released by The Associated Press, features archived news and entertainment video footage, bringing educational content to new audiences through gaming.

Compiled from the AP Archive, which dates back to 1895, the gaming app boasts video clips of historic and contemporary moments that freeze and scramble into classic puzzle shapes, to be reassembled and solved in order for the video to continue. Each puzzle download is .99 cents.

“The idea of reassembling video screen captures makes this app engaging,” said Lylian Morocs, account representative of the AP’s video archive division, Los Angeles.

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“Most puzzles use still imagery or photos, and our app is unique in that users get to watch some retro videos that are frozen and only continue to play upon touch screen solving,” she said.

Outside the box
The historic clips look back to classic moments in time in a number of categories, such as vintage fashion, cars and classic cameras.

Players have various category choices

Users will have a closer look inside some of the APs news and entertainment video assets, while being informed and entertained. Some videos have AP reporter voice-over tracks accompanied with narration, and soon, the archive division will include videos that feature questions in the pre-freeze moment, and then reveal the answer upon reassembly.

Players choose their level of difficulty as they advance, beginning with twelves tiles, with the option to assemble up to forty visual tiles.

Selective difficulty makes this app universal

Beyond gamification
According to a new survey by App Annie, consumer in-game spending on apps has soared to 130 percent, more than double the size of spending on digital music in the United States.

While everyone seems to be making money on mobile, news organizations have also been experimenting where they can to get revenue in pieces, from mobile applications to display ad, in-stream advertising, and sponsored contests and social campaigns to name a few.

Making use of archived content could be a new one.

Mobile game developers seeking to build a strong relationship with their user base have seen success surrounding game-centric learning.

Last year, The New York Museum of Metropolitan Art opened a photography exhibition that showcased more than 200 manipulated images created by analog techniques between the 1840s and 1990s.

Faking It iPad app

Photography enthusiasts could also download a free Faking It iPad app that provided a guided tour of the exhibition and included a quiz to see if visitors could spot which images had been altered and how.

Players could interact with a still medium

With social medias rise and its ability to connect with massive audiences at reduced cost, mobile developers are realizing the power apps and gaming have to engage large groups of people.

While puzzles are a universal appeal, they also help different types of learners access and digest the information.

Digital puzzles are an extension of the classic puzzles weve all grown up with. Now they can be taken on the go, Ms. Morocs said.

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York

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