Neon Wild’s Genesis Story

WhenCOVID-19 hit the US in early 2020, I was living in sunny Miami, Florida, working at an augmented reality start-up, Magic Leap. I spent long hours at the office working with highly talented people to bring our version of the metaverse to the world. We initially called it the Magicverse 😃. Like millions of others in spring 2020, I endured the abrupt shift from traditional office life to working from home. I was working in a two-bedroom apartment, living with my wife, Jennifer, and our boys, Joey and Marcello.

Though I am grateful I had a home to work from, it was tough maintaining my workflow. Our boys, who were two and four years old, showed great resilience even though there were no more playground trips, beach days, or swimming lessons. We all spent a lot of time playing and being imaginative indoors while trying to limit screen time outside of virtual preschool on Zoom.

The spring of 2020 became summer, then fall, but still no traditional “back to school” as COVID raged on. The 2020–2021 school year had many challenges, and I am thankful we had access to high-speed Internet, devices, and knowledge of virtual communication. As a family, we did our best to craft a safe environment for my children to learn, play, and adapt. Many sleepless nights were spent on my phone, researching COVID, connecting with other parents, trying to make the best life for my family. It wasn’t all heartbreak and loss as lockdown revealed a new reality. We finally had more time to spend together as a family.

Before the pandemic, I didn’t have as much time to spend with my kids. For most of my boys’ lives, I left the house early each morning and returned just in time to say good night. Now, our increased time together set the stage for us to write and perform plays, create art projects, and interact freely with (mostly) educational tech and entertainment. Spending more quality time with family allowed me to see my kids in a new light. As I became more involved with their education, I noticed how kids play, engage with digital media, and use their imaginations.

How to connect parents and children to the educational world through imagination and digital media became a recurrent theme in my research. Conversations I had with other parents led to user research so I could find ways to best aid families all over the country. I spoke with parents informally at first then in the form of proper customer research. This process led to feedback from parents, kids, educators, and others working in my field which sparked the idea for Neon Wild.

Insight #1: Lack of diversity and positive body image in children’s platforms

When my son, Joey was four, he started a superhero phase, complete with action figures and make-believe adventures. Watching my son play with roided-out superheroes and scantily clad, objectified heroines gave me the same icky feeling of scrolling through Instagram.

Superhero toys are also problematic in terms of diversity. Despite repeated calls for diversity in children’s entertainment, superheroes are predominantly white. This dynamic portrays heroes as white and leaves people of color out of the story. All children deserve to see themselves represented as heroes in narrative spaces.

Insight #2: Kids want to be the center of the story

Whenever my son and I would play or read stories, he would often say “this is me, daddy” or “that’s mommy” which placed family members right into the narrative. After some research, and many hours speaking with other parents and observing other kids’ play, mostly via Zoom, I saw this pattern emerge. Kids want to be in the story.

Insight #3: Social Emotional Learning is essential and underutilized

Zoom school was unhelpful for a 4-year-old, so I searched for age-appropriate apps to fill the gaps in my son’s education. There are a ton of math and reading apps but very few quality apps that help children learn relationship skills, self-awareness, and social awareness. These skills are fundamentals of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), an important part of child development and education that was new to me.

As a framework, SEL has a positive impact on a broad range of student outcomes such as mental wellness, academic performance, and emotional regulation (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2020). The more I learned about SEL, the more I thought how can my kids get more of this?

Next, I pulled in three of my closest colleagues, Carlos, Stephanie, and Matthew to share these ideas and join Neon Wild as co-founders. As a team, we have enjoyed speaking with parents, educators, and kids, refining our hypotheses as we build the platform. Throughout 2021 and 2022, we have worked long nights and weekends on top of our full-time jobs. We are diligently building our tech, refining our stories, developing business models, and just genuinely having fun.

This upcoming year we are excited to get the magic of Neon Wild into people’s hands. In 2022, children will be represented like never before, as heroes of all colors, shapes, and sizes in a safe and imaginative environment. We are excited for you to join us!

See you in the Neon Wild!

Sign up for early access to Neon Wild for your family.

Sqwizz by Neon Wild

We are so excited to announce Neon Wild's first NFT collection, Sqwizz by Neon Wild! Coming soon are 8,888 Sqwizz NFTS you can use in the Neon Wild. Sqwizz is a wondrous creature, born in the Neon Wild, and is the sole protector of One Tree, the heart of Neon Wild. The One Tree serves as a portal that connects heroes to any destination in the Many Worlds.   Neon Wild is a company established in 2021 dedicated to ensuring that all children are heroes of their own stories. We provide families with personalized child development and entertainment platforms built on a universe of imagination. Our upcoming NFT drop is just the start of what we hope is a lifelong journey of exploration & learning with Neon Wild.  New to Neon Wild? Read about our family-friendly metaverse. Neon Wild's Sqwizz NFT drop is the perfect opportunity for Sqwizz fans to buy exclusive items like a one-of-a-kind Sqwizz. In the Neon Wild metaverse, Many Worlds, each land has its own Sqwizz. One to guide each child on their journey to save the Neon Wild from The Rot, a group of villains that will stop at nothing to destroy the world! We can save the realm but we need your help!  New to NFTs? Join our Discord and read our NFT Safety channel. Our NFT sale gives families the chance to gather virtually and secure a limited edition NFT Sqwizz. Remember the excitement of comic book conventions and book fairs as a kid? At Neon Wild, we're hosting a virtual NFT sale that brings the childlike joy of a convention right to your device! While the NFT space can be overwhelming, Neon Wild offers a family-friendly metaverse so families can safely select & utilize NFTs together.  Looking for edutainment for those special kids in your life? Want to make someone’s day without the guilt of wasted screen time? Buy a Sqwizz token at our NFT drop! Shop our NFT tokens with your little ones and make it a family event! Or surprise those special kids in your life with Sqwizz tokens, granting early access to Neon Wild content.  New to Neon Wild? Join our socials here. With our Sqwizz collection we aim to provide value to our customers over the lifetime of their ownership of a Sqwizz NFT. We’ve thoughtfully added market-validated utility to our Sqwizz NFTs: a unique Sqwizz usable within the Neon Wild, high-quality animated collector’s art, hi-res pfp, early access to the Neon Wild platform, random airdrops of loot packs, & much more detailed below.  Sqwizz tokens give you access to the Neon Wild during our Sprout phase ahead of the general public. Each Sqwizz NFT purchased is usable within the Neon Wild. Read & interact in one experience with our OG Sqwizz & in the next experience, use your one-of-a-kind NFT South Beach Sqwizz. Choosing a Sqwizz for your Neon Wild experience is up to you & your kids.  For collectors seeking a collectible, as a store of value, we provide 3D assets of Sqwizz & high-resolution 2D profile images of Sqwizz. Use a one-of-a-kind Sqwizz as a profile pic (pfp). If the collection sells out, we’ll drop high-quality NFT collector’s art in the form of a Sqwizz animations!!! We are building out our Sqwizz collection with rarities & will use to help you track the relative rarity of your Sqwizz in this collection. As a company, we’ll thoughtfully manage the absolute rarity of all of our collections, given market demands. As a holder of a Sqwizz NFT, a secondary benefit afforded you is access to the Neon Wild, the first metaverse for families.  Who is creating Neon Wild? We are a talented multidisciplinary group of artists, technologists, & tinkerers, working to deliver a delightful & utility-packed Sqwizz NFT experience in the Neon Wild. Our project is currently in development (nearly 24/7) & is yet to launch. Soon we’ll share details on our launch timeline, minting (purchasing) process, price, behind the scenes looks, & much more! Head to our Twitter & Discord to follow & join our growing community for future updates.  See you in the Neon Wild! Follow our socials today!

Read More
Neon Wild’s Vision: Metaverse for Families
Neon Wild’s Vision: Metaverse for Families

We are a company established in 2021 dedicated to ensuring that all children are heroes of their own stories. We provide families with personalized child development and entertainment platforms built on a universe of imagination. We are a community of passionate creators, technologists, and researchers, bringing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) to the forefront of children’s education and entertainment. SEL is a process where “young people acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve goals, feel and show empathy … maintain relationships, and make responsible decisions” (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2020). Parents, teachers, educators, and researchers know the power of storytelling in childhood education. However, many stories that children read position the readers as deuteragonists or secondary characters. In the Neon Wild metaverse, your child becomes the protagonist or main character. Imagine your kids in the Neon Wild, the stars of immersive adventures. In these adventures, our edutainment platform is play-to-learn and eventually play-to-earn. What differentiates Neon Wild from other companies is our focus on personalization & individualization. We collaborate with parents to ensure that what we’re building is loved by all. At Neon Wild, we work diligently to spark the imagination of every child, building a growth mindset, or positive attitude. A growth mindset has been correlated with improved executive function & leadership skills (“Having a Growth Mindset” by Dweck, 2016). How are Neon Wild characters created? We use game-changing, character creation software that gives every child the ability to create, modify, and build characters in their likeness. Character creation is completed in four simple steps: scan, characterize, customize, and enjoy. We capture an image scan of your child and you just follow the steps to characterize and customize. Then your hero is ready to go! Our patent-pending technology utilizes machine learning models to create an avatar that embodies the essence of your child with Neon Wild’s unique artistic style! No matter who you are or where you’re from, your child can be a hero in the Neon Wild. Finally, kids all over the world can see themselves represented in immersive stories & in the community we are building. In this constantly changing educational landscape, families will have a community and support network at Neon Wild. Creating a personalized character is just the beginning of what we hope is a lifelong educational journey with Neon Wild. Head to our Discord Server to interact with our community. Follow our socials by clicking here. Safety and Security Nothing is more important to us than the privacy and safety of you and your family. We adhere to strict standards of encryption, give parents complete control over account privileges, and are in full compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Check back as we continue to share resources on maintaining your digital privacy. We are dedicated to the transparency of our process, every step of the way. The Neon Wild Metaverse Our metaverse is constantly expanding as we add new possibilities for your children. We are working diligently to create wondrous stories and adventures built on the foundations of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Kids explore the Neon Wild with their custom characters, fostering a nurturing community, creating better humans for our planet. The latest generations of children are inheriting a more divisive, digital, and complicated world. Neon Wild is a universe of wonder that gives kids the tools they need to navigate that world. Neon Wild creates a world where personalization enables representation for everyone. We also provide safe, educational, and fun ways to spend screen time. The representation students get from these stories encourages a love of reading at all levels and supports equity in education. Thank you for your time & interest! Check out our roadmap and join our Discord Server. Follow Neon Wild on Medium and share this post. We’d love to hear from you so leave a comment! See you in the Neon Wild! Sign up for early access to Neon Wild for your family.

Neon Wild Logo
Privacy PolicyChildren's Privacy PolicyTerms of ServiceCookie PolicyAccessibility Statement

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved