Asia's first digital playground caters to tech-savvy young whizz-kids

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 August, 2009, 12:00am

The government might have sold Cyberport as Asia's Silicon Valley, but these days the area has another nickname - Nappy Valley.

Perhaps as an amalgam of the two, the area has just opened Asia's first digital playground.

Cyberport's The Arcade opened the outdoor DigiPlayground on Thursday with a ceremony that included Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Duncan Pescod and Finland's consul general, Timo Rajakangas.

It seems the technology comes from the Nordic nation. Contrary to what you might think, no, it's not just another bunch of sedentary video games. Instead, the waterfront park includes three separate spaces that encourage kids to run around and test their co-ordination and brain skills, with individual stations incorporating technology and virtual sporting games.

'The DigiPlayground demonstrates how digital technology can be creatively utilised to enhance people's mental and physical well-being, and thus quality of life,' Cyberport chief executive Nicholas Yang said.

Some games require an iCard, a radio frequency identification and activation device, which can be obtained from the mall's customer-service counter.

It can also keep score, show rankings and allow truly creative kids to design their own games.

Another reason to take your little Bill Gates there: it's all free and open from 7am to 11pm daily.