Luciana Brafman, founder of TIME TO ACT ENTERTAINMENT would like to share with us her Games for Kids, created to enable Social advocacy for kids and more awareness for issues like climate change while making more impact on children through gaming.
Please tell us more about yourself?
My name is Luciana Brafman, I was born and raised in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. My professional background in the entertainment industry is producing. From a very young age, I was interested in film and theatre having grown up in theater, backstage, every weekend as my mom was an actress in children’s plays. Her love for the arts inspired me to always do what I love with the understanding that success would always follow. Work ethic and passion taught me that if I stay dedicated to something, anything, I could become successful at it. Over the years as a producer, I’ve accomplished quite a lot in the entertainment industry, having received two Emmy nominations for my work as a producer in Survivor and The Apprentice television series.
As much as I loved being a producer I decided to take several years off from my career so that I could spend time with a person I loved very much—my son. It was at this time where I grew extremely passionate about inspiring children and helping them realize how important is to be happy and that they can achieve anything they want to achieve if they put their energy and passion into it. And that what matters the most is the process to get there and the importance during this journey to care about each other, our planet, and all living creatures inhabiting it. I saw first-hand from my son and his friends’ interactions that entertainment was the most successful way to teach kids. Through entertainment, they were learning without realizing they were being educated. That’s when I got fascinated by the possibilities of the world of children’s entertainment. I thought we could emulate this approach and teach kids about pressing issues prevailing in our society and enabling and inspiring them to be part of the solution. This was the seed that drove me to create Time To Act Entertainment.
What is TIME TO ACT ENTERTAINMENT, tell us more about your mission for Kids?
Time To Act Entertainment is a groundbreaking transmedia brand dedicated to raising awareness through original impactful and entertaining content. Our goal is to produce with purpose, focusing on interactive media to propel us to become the next leading platform for content that will inspire change and make a difference.
How do you intend to harness the power of video games to foster a generation of kids who truly care about the world around them?
Safe to say, it’s not surprising that a majority of children are playing video games or using interactive media every single day. And with good reason, video games are fun, after all! Year after year, we continue to see the prevalence of video games in youth culture with the rise of gaming tournaments, streaming, mobile games. With the pandemic, we saw video games become a social tool for kids to connect with their friends through gaming. We truly believe we can combine entertaining, fun, and cool content with an educational messaging component because teaching and inspiring kids on things that matter like the environment can and should be fun!
How many projects have you worked on before now and who are your key partners in the gaming industry?
This is my first venture into the gaming and interactive media industry but I’ve learned quite a bit already. It became obvious very quickly that much like raising a child, creating an interactive media company takes a village! We’re excited to work with artists, game developers, and storytellers that share our vision for the future of gaming.
EARTHLING 22, as a soon coming game, what is the special impact we are expecting for kids globally?
With EARTHLING 22, which is still in development, we aim to bring social causes to the forefront of kids’ minds. The unfortunate truth is that we as a society are often reactive to various social causes. For example, we often don’t think about pollution until we see the trash on the beaches we visit. We don’t think about climate change until we see wildfires encroaching on families’ properties during the California wildfire season. Being exposed to social causes like the environment at an early age helps ensure that we are raising socially responsible children and when they grow older they are already aware of and have thought about the environment and are equipped to be part of the solution. We hope that this awareness has a fundamental impact on creating a generation that is inspired to be proactive and as a result makes positive changes to the world.
“Playing for the planet alliance” has impacted children by integrating green activism into games. What inspired this technique?
It’s easy for all of us to see the effects of climate change both locally and worldwide. Everything from air pollution to wildfires and floods affects everyone’s health and way of life. Climate change is probably the biggest issue facing our future. The clock is ticking and it’s extremely important to raise awareness about climate change for kids as young as possible so that they can grow practicing a sustainable way of life.
At the end of the day, kids notice when the” cool “ video game companies they care about the most commit to reducing plastic waste, reducing emissions, planting trees, and promoting the global well-being of the environment. And with the combined reach of the members of Playing for the Planet Alliance of over 1 billion video game players, it’s a powerful method of green activism.
Is there any other way TIME TO ACT is creating awareness for social responsibility?
Of course! In addition to planning on having a percentage of purchases from our content go to organizations that inspire our work such as, One Planted Tree, Oceans Conservancy, and LA Urban Farms, we have a strong belief in putting our mission into action beyond the screens we use every day. Our goal is to connect the virtual world children are living in through gaming to the real world by helping create actual change.
We are currently surveying partners with nonprofits like Heal the Bay, an organization in Southern California dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds in Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean. They host educational days for school children who are often in underserved communities and make cleaning and learning about the environment near the beach fun, creative and inspiring.
What struggles and shortcomings have you had since the birth of TIME TO ACT?
Just like with any startup or with a new company one of the main things that we are focusing on right now for Time To Act is fundraising. But aside from that, something we didn’t immediately realize was that for our mission to have the most impact we’d need to focus on fostering partnerships and sponsors with leading organizations that support the environment to help create awareness. We are addressing this by partnering with these leading organizations.
How do you think the pandemic (covid 19) has affected children, and the upcoming generation, and what measures do you think is suitable to minimize the effect on kids?
In my opinion, it’s no secret that COVID-19 has negatively impacted children—and adults’ mental health of all ages. I think several years from now we’ll truly understand the full impact that the pandemic had on children’s developmental, physical, and mental well-being.
With that said, I think it’s more important than ever for parents to have an active role in monitoring what their children are doing when connected online. Whether it’s mobile or video games, social platforms like Snapchat or YouTube, kids are often given full reign over what and how much they consume even though many parents know that too much screen time can lead to sleep problems, anxiety, and poor school performance. The internet is like welcoming strangers to your home and exposing children to subjects that they wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise and that they may be too young to understand. As we transition to a post-COVID world, I encourage parents to regularly set aside time to discover all parental controls offered by the different gaming and social platforms, as well as to spend time outside away from the screens. Play games, help them with their homework and most importantly check in with them to see how they’re feeling since communication is key. Also, lead by example and not spend too much time themselves on their phones. Kids are resilient and with the help of parents and proper use of technology, we’ll be able to minimize the negative effects of the pandemic in due time. It is very important to note that technology is wonderful and when used properly can propel learning and be inspirational.
To what percentage do you think that games have influenced kids positively? What are the plans to regulate game addiction for kids, any parental control protocol?
I’m not too sure about an exact number, however, I can say that for most kids video games have positive effects on different aspects of their lives. Video games can help kids who might be shy to be more social, encourage community building, improve problem-solving skills, and teach them how to work in a team. There’s even some research showing that surgeons who played more video games regularly made fewer operating mistakes! These are very real skills that video games help nurture.
Over the last few years, tech companies like Apple have made it easy for parents to limit screen time, block specific apps and restrict settings on mobile devices. Using this functionality ensures kids are not playing games 24/7 so that they don’t struggle with gaming addiction. As the game is still in development, we are currently researching how best to add additional features for parental controls within the game.