Get to know Shannon Case, one of the newest members of the Fred Rogers Productions team. Shannon comes to us from Washington, D.C., where she worked in digital programming for PBS KIDS, and was essential to the creation of online games for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, among other shows.
What led you to work in digital games for children’s TV shows?
I’ve always loved working with kids and spent many summers as a camp counselor and tutor. I knew I eventually wanted a career that would allow me to focus on kids and families. It wasn’t until I started working at PBS KIDS that I learned making digital games was a job that existed. I figured out pretty quickly that it was a dream job! Games can be a helpful way for kids to work on skills, like cooperation and problem solving, and to play and learn about new experiences. It brings me a lot of joy to spend my days creating games for kids to play with their favorite characters.
Can you talk a little bit about your favorite television show when you were growing up?
I was obsessed with the game shows on Nickelodeon, like Double Dare, GUTS, and Legends of the Hidden Temple. I have vivid memories of making obstacle courses in my neighbor’s backyard and running around the playground with friends, pretending we were racing up the Aggro Crag. Those shows were so fun to watch, but also inspired so much play away from the television screen.
How do people make a digital game?
There are many steps and many people involved in making a digital game. We typically start by deciding the theme or topic we’d like to cover in a game—it might be exploring feelings, going to the doctor, or taking turns. Then we think about the best way to make that topic into a playful experience, drawing inspiration from many sources like classic toys and board games. Throughout the development process, we observe kids playing the game and make changes to ensure the final game is engaging, easy to play, and fun!
What is your favorite Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood game you’ve worked on?
I love all my children equally, but I’m particularly proud of Spin & Sing. It incorporates several of the Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood songs into little games, like helping Daniel count to four to calm down or choosing a new food for him to try. It’s a simple game, but it provides children with lots of ways to play about these different strategies that both they and Daniel are learning.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I’m pretty much always thinking about food, whether it’s planning what to make for dinner, adding to my list of restaurants to try, or watching cooking videos on YouTube. I really enjoy the process of cooking and own an unreasonable number of cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. I also like spending time outside and going for walks to explore Pittsburgh (and attempt to walk off all that food).
As a new Pittsburgher, what is your favorite thing you’ve experienced in the city so far?
There are so many amazing parks! I like exploring new places by foot, so I have been taking my dog for long walks in the various parks around Pittsburgh. It’s incredible how quickly you can forget you’re in the middle of a city when you’re walking the trails in Frick or Schenley Parks.
Play free, online Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood games here, and watch the show daily on PBS KIDS.
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