A privately owned company, based in Oakland, CA, Handipoints is a virtual community for families where children’s everyday “real world” chores earn them big prizes and new adventures in a safe online environment that is controlled and monitored by parents. Unlike other children’s Web sites, Handipoints marries offline tasks, such as cleaning their room and brushing their teeth, with online entertainment and games to teach children the value of their work and foster good behavior. While they’re having fun, children learn about saving money and building responsible habits – and parents get a helping hand with positive reinforcement that is educational at the same time.
Games that Teach Responsible Habits
HandiLand is very similar to Club Penguin and Webkinz such that you can adopt and dress up a cartoon cat, walk around to different towns and interact with other kids. The big difference is how we tie in the aspects of teaching responsible habits and doing chores to earn points into our game. In other sites like Club Penguin and Webkinz, kids earn "money" by playing games. So kids end up spending countless hours flipping virtual burgers and riding bob sleds so that they can save up enough points to buy a hat for their characters. These sites are great fun but at the end of the day, its 100% play and the kids aren’t learning anything constructive. In Handipoints kids earn points by doing chores, staying healthy, and behaving well in the real world and must save their points in order to play the games and watch the cartoons inside our virtual world. So the economics of our game more closely follows real life and teaches kids some important lessons along the way. We also give parents a whole suite of tools to let them create an allowance program tied to real rewards.
The Story Behind Handipoints
Handipoints is managed by founder and CEO Viva Chu. Chu's professional experience as an entrepreneur and software architect includes over a decade of designing software for Internet start-ups within the e-business, interactive television, video game and online advertising industries.
During the California housing boom of 2000, Viva was doing a lot of house rehabilitation work and was struck by how many tasks there were for the contractors to manage. As he was thinking about how to build project management software to help local contractors, Viva saw a magnetic chore chart for kids and realized: “Even kids have to-do lists!” The idea just clicked. The game idea evolved out of fond Nintendo memories and brainstorming on how to present chores and responsibilities in a way that kids would find fun. The site is all about “making work fun.” Viva launched an early prototype of the first online chore chart and found that parents were very excited about the idea but the classic dilemma of how to motivate kids to actually do the chores and keep up with the site remained. So the social gaming aspect followed naturally. What do kids enjoy doing the most? -- talking with their friends, playing video games, and watching cartoons. So the key idea behind Handipoints is to motivate kids to do their chores and act responsibly in order to earn the right to do the things that they enjoy the most.
The Handipoints Team
Handipoints is comprised of a multi-national team of geeks and artists who are dedicated to building useful tools for parents and fun, educational games for kids. We are a privately held company with funding from a combination of angels and venture firms.
Contact Us At:
301 Brannan St., 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94107
Handipoints In The News
- Viva Chu's Handipoints.com for kids' chores - San Francisco Chronicle, February 7, 2009
- Viva Chu's Handipoints.com - Chinese syndication of SF Chronicle article - Singtao, February 7, 2009
- Children's Virtual World Wins Real World W3 Award - October 16, 2008
- Kids earn online points for real-world chores - CNET, April 4, 2008
- Handipoints.com - Tool for Parents, Web Game for Kids - Killer Start-ups, March 31, 2008
- Handipoints Thinks A Virtual World Could Make Kids Better in The Real One - TechCrunch, March 27, 2008
- Handipoints Creates New Educational Virtual World - March 4, 2008
- Do you know where your children are? Probably playing in a virtual world - Hillary Rhodes, Associated Press, Feb 28, 2008