Disney’s Marvel has partnered with the mobile app publisher Kuato Studios to launch a new educational storytelling platform inspired by and featuring the cast of the heroic universe.
Called Marvel Hero Tales, the mobile app offers a new way to experience Marvel stories while helping kids aged nine to 11 to develop their language and reading skills. It is based on the popular Marvel Comics universe and features familiar heroes such as Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel.
The idea of the app is to help players improve their vocabulary and expressive language by creating their own comic books.
In developing the app, Kuato Studios has worked closely with the Centre For Applied Language Studies at the University of Portland Oregon, as well as teachers and schools in the UK, to develop specific vocabulary content. This content is based on the Corpus of Contemporary American English and mapped to US and UK literacy grade standards.
Over time, players will progress through a vocabulary set to help them become better readers and storytellers. Meanwhile, the app’s learning experience encourages children to be the heroes of their own stories by letting them personalise their experience. It will then follow the characters as they ‘level up’ by completing activities.
As they progress, players collect words that are then used to co-author their own story. Their choice of words will directly affect the outcome of the mission and the stylised look.
Finally, the user will be presented with their very own co-authored book that can be read and shared with friends or family.
The storylines are adapted to the player’s age, with shorter and simpler language used for younger audiences, and more complex ones applied to the older demographic.
“This is the most personal project I’ve ever been involved with, not just because of my love of the Marvel Universe, but also because as a child with undiagnosed dyslexia, school, and particularly reading, was incredibly challenging for me,” said Mark Horneff, CEO of Kuato Studios.
“I remember one day when I was 8, my Mum picked me up from school and gave me a copy of Spider-Man – my very first introduction to Marvel. From that moment on I was hooked; I read it cover to cover every day. Those adventures fed not only my imagination, but my confidence as a storyteller and my passion for reading.
“My hope is that Marvel Hero Tales will inspire a new generation of Marvel readers and storytellers, and in some small way, allow that eight-year-old to repay some of the debt I owe to Peter Parker.”
Kuato Studios plans to add regular updated content to both characters and storylines.