Time well spent online: an interview with Creatubbles Founder and CEO, Paul Greenberg.

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself Paul?

I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario and went to university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I recently returned to Toronto after living abroad for more than 20 years, primarily in Tokyo, Japan, where I spent about 15 years. I am multilingual and have always been very interested in learning languages of all types, including non-spoken languages such as music. I like to find connections and patterns in things and am especially passionate about using technology to bring joy and positive learning into people’s lives.

2. How did you get started at Creatubbles?

While working for consumer platform technology companies in Tokyo in the early 2010’s, I became acutely aware of the adverse effects that come with treating online users as “products” and algorithms designed to drive explosive growth based on commercial objectives. As a father of two young children who were growing up as “digital natives,” I was particularly motivated to create online experiences that I would feel comfortable with my own children using. Online safety and protection of privacy was one aspect of this but perhaps more important was a desire to create experiences that would be “time well spent” online.

With all of this mind, I set about establishing creatubbles.com as a safe online social space for children from around the world to share their creative output of all types.

3. What’s your role at Super Code Strike?

I am the CEO and founder of Creatubbles. At Creatubbles, we develop safe apps and mobile games for young people and others! We work to encourage creativity, connection, and learning through game play. We began working on our newest endeavour, Super Code Strike in the second half of 2019.

My role is to clarify the vision of the company and products that we work on, and to ensure that we have the best people possible on our team working together as effectively as possible in order to achieve that vision.

4. Your last Creatubbles app was centered around art, what’s different about this latest project?

At the heart of what we do at Creatubbles is the notion of stimulating and nurturing the natural creative spirit that we all possess. With creatubbles.com the focus was primarily on visual creative expression. With Super Code Strike, we continue to provide tools for players to produce and share 3D digital creations and we have taken things even further by incorporating coding as a central way to engage with the game. Broadly speaking, whether it is putting pen to paper, manipulating digital blocks in 3D space, or developing and coding an algorithm, we see them all as activities that help to develop one’s own problem solving skills and creative voice.

5. In your opinion, what makes Super Code Strike unique when compared to other mobile games?

The focus of Super Code Strike is to combine a truly fun and exciting game experience with the so-called “STEM-based” activity of coding. It is this combination that sets Super Code Strike apart from other mobile games that are currently out there. There are mobile games that focus successfully on one or the other of these ideas however, there are none that combine the two in the way that we seek to do.

6. Why integrate coding into this app? Do you have a personal interest in computer coding?

I am not a professional coder myself. But I am very interested in coding. Furthermore, when looked at as an important tool to express and action algorithmic solutions to a wide range of problems, it is clear that coding is a skill that provides a means for creative self-expression. We believe that incorporating this into a game-like experience can make the important tool of coding more accessible to a generation of young people and others.

7. Who is the intended audience for this project?

As we have progressed with the development of Super Code Strike, it has become clear to us that there is no single monolithic audience for the game. Our initial focus was and still remains young people over the age of 13 who have an interest in developing their coding skills in the context of a super fun game experience.

However, we have noticed that there is also an older audience in their 20’s and 30’s that appears to be quite interested in Super Code Strike. The reason for this appears to be the fact that while we have sought to lower the hurdle such that any beginner can easily engage with coding in the game, we have also developed Super Code Strike in such a way that the experiential ceiling is very high. In this way, fun and exciting levels can easily be created in minutes by a novice player of the game while very interesting and engaging levels can be created with high degrees of complexity by more advanced players.

8. In an ideal world, what future do you want to see for Super Code Strike?

The first expression of Super Code Strike is built on a few key pillars, including creative building of levels, accessible development of coding skills, and connecting socially with friends. All of these elements are reflected in the game today. However, as we progress, we will seek to develop a very robust roadmap around each pillar, on its own as well as in combination with the others.

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