What is SecretBuilders?
SecretBuilders is a virtual world where children come to play games, interact with famous characters of cultural and historical significance, and go on Quests that span the world.
SecretBuilders players can furnish their in-game homes, play dress-up, invite friends to parties, look after pets, create clubs, contribute art and writing to our magazine, ‘The Crooked Pencil’, learn about managing money, enter contests and contribute their own ideas to improve the SecretBuilders world even more!
SecretBuilders School also offers players the ability to earn virtual currency through attendance. Here they learn in a more traditional manner, with subjects including Art, Language, Geography, History, Math, Science and Computers, with Brain Games to help keep their logical reasoning in tip-top shape.
With Premium membership, you can become even more involved with their child’s experience. They can reward good online behavior (attendance at the SecretBuilders’ School) with virtual monies – we even give parents the option to reward real-world good behavior with a discretionary monthly allowance. They will also receive email reports of progress and activities in the game.
What will my child learn?
Children learn by immersion in a rich world full of famous historical figures that they can chat with, go exploring with, visit their home and learn about their works, and the impact that they had on the world. By going on Quests, they learn about literature, works of art and music.
Attendance of the in-game SecretBuilders School rewards them for learning Math, Science, Languages Arts, Geography, History, Math, Science and Computers Literacy, Internet Safety, even raising real money for real non-profits!
Who is SecretBuilders for?
Any child who can use a computer! The rich experience
Any child who can use a computer! The vivid experience provided by SecretBuilders is enjoyed most by those who have some reading abilities – and playing in SecretBuilders will help their reading even more.
SecretBuilders was created for the explorer in every child, and for parents who want their children to learn about our cultural heritage, but who realize that trying to teach this to children directly is hard – that they will learn much more by exploring themselves and experiencing it themselves.
Who made SecretBuilders?
Started by a former teacher and group of parents of young children, who have a very personal drive to create a place for where children are exposed to a rich world of cultural learning; creating and publishing their own work, in a safe, wholesome online space.
Your continued support, your child’s ecstatic emails about how much they love learning in the virtual world we have created, is our driving force and reason for working so hard to carry on creating this safe virtual playground of learning and fun.
Please take a read what our children say about us, and our work, here at SecretBuilders:
Umair Khan, Chief Executive Office
Our dad started SecretBuilders in 2007 and it is so cool - we talk about new ideas for SecretBuilders ALL the time. He has always loved math (really!) and was a math teacher when he was only 17! Then he went to MIT to do more Math and some engineering but also literature and creative writing. Then he worked for Intel and helped design microprocessors. Then he left to start software companies like Clickmarks and Folio3 and Verisium. But he loves SecretBuilders best of all. Even more than he loves Cricket. He got the idea for SecretBuilders like 10 years ago when he thought: wouldn't it be great to be like Alice and go down the rabbit hole into Wonderland? We are glad he finally decided to make it happen. But he never listens to us when we ask for 100,000,000 Silver coins (Shills).
Sahlik, Samar, and Amara
Vladimir Soskov, Chief Technical Officer
My dad is very, very smart and can write really long computer programs very quickly. He studied in Sofia which is the capital of Bulgaria. Then at wordwalla he made software that helped people write emails and chat in any language. Then he made software at Clickmarks that helped people get websites on phones. Now he makes software that lets people become secret builders and take care of pet baby dragons which are my favorite part. But I want him to put pet sharks and other man eating pets! He has written all the software that makes SecretBuilders run even though other people help him but he says its mostly only him. He is also very good at Judo and Mommy says he used to be a very fast runner in his college days. He is slower now. But not in writing software.
Fawad Qadri, Vice President of Product Development
Our dad loves computer games and video games which is great because when
we grow up he will have to let us play them too. He is always on secretbuilders.com seeing how people like it. He did computer science in
college and then worked in computer systems for many years at
Clickmarks. Then he began to design web software and was the one who
designed out SecretBuilders. Others like Stefan's dad then take his
design and make it into code. But our dad listens to what kids are
saying and designs it into SecretBuilders. I like the Tum-Tum board on
SecretBuilders but we want to have a toy train in our homes there.
Ayaat & Nayil
Bob Brattesani, Vice President of Creative Design
Our dad makes amazing, cool drawings for a living. Yes, that's his actual work. He even has a cool art studio at home. He made all the lands you see in Secretbuilders even though he says lots of people made them but we think it was really mostly him. He made Star Wars toys at Galoob and then at Wild Planet he came up with Verticon which won Toy of the year. He also worked on fun projects for Avantgo, Razorback, and Leapfrog. We really love the tree house he made in SecretBuilders but he needs to make a lot more pets. And he needs to give us a lot more time on the computer so we can, you know, help build SecretBuilders.
Logan and Isabella
Georgi Marinoff, Chief Architect
My dad went to Sofia University with Stefan's Dad, Uncle Vladi. They
were the best students there - at least that is what Uncle Vladi says.
Now they work together at SecretBuilders. Before this my dad worked in
game development for many years at Haemimont Games and before that at
Telekontrol OOD. At SecretBuilders, My dad does all the complex software
stuff and manages all the people in the office in Bulgaria. He works
very hard to make lots of kids happy, sometimes all night. My mom thinks
he works too much. But then there are a lot of kids to be made happy.
Ian Young, Product Manager
Our dad is a wicked cool biker, writer, videogamer, and animal lover who fosters rescued dogs. He has made lots of amazing games for kids. He worked at Europress which is a big education software company in England, at Vivendi Games, at GluMobile, and also at Infogrames. He made the game version of Terminator III and The Dark Knight and also lots of cool racing games including "Looney Tunes Racing". The nine coolest things he has ever done are parachuting out of airplanes 9 times. He knows Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, (just like Neo in The Matrix)! Mum says he is the second best thing ever to come of out of England after the "beetles"(??), but we think he is the best ever and better than any beetle.
What is your design philosophy?
The SecretBuilders design philosophy puts the child’s experience foremost.
SecretBuilders is not the equivalent of “chocolate fudge” for children - it is also NOT “chocolate-covered broccoli”.
Our design philosophy of putting the child’s experience first - in the context of cultural immersion - has allowed us to create the food equivalent of a Cheerio™ - something nutritious and
- A platform for parents to help create a world full of wholsome fun for their children.
- A supplement to Art, literature and music education
- A supplement to science and math education through exposure to the human history of science and mathematics.
- A way to foster the writer and artist within a child by:
- Publishing their work online
- Interaction and feedback on creative work, even winning prizes
- Participating in nationwide creativity competitions: writing competitions;
- Art & Design competitions
A store for a child’s creative work via:
- Essays, projects, art work and video production
A platform for parents and others to participate in creating a rich world for children.
Why would I want my child to be a paid member?
While SecretBuilders is free to play, your support via membership helps us to deliver our mission of providing immersive learning and a creative outlet for your child, in a safe online environment.
- A monthly allowance of virtual money to be given to their child for good real world behavior!
- An additional monthly allowance of virtual money to be given to their child if they attend the in-world SecretBuilders School.
- Regular email feedback on player behavior and playing times.
Super cool premium items can be purchased with their virtual money – clothes, furniture, house extensions, special pet care, plus items to help them on Quests, like virtual GPS, maps, vehicles and information.
- All Quests, now and in future, are open for them to embark upon.
- A monthly allowance of virtual money.
- The ability to earn more virtual money through game play.
- Rewards from Mom or Dad for good behavior, both in and out of the SecretBuilders world.
Is it safe for my children?
All postings in SecretBuilders are seen by human eyes before being approved to go live - Internet child safety is a top-level priority at SecretBuilders.
- No personal information is shared
- Parents can choose to make their child’s virtual home entirely private
- All postings are moderated
- Chat filters are rigidly employed
- Rules are strictly enforced. Serious breaches result in lifetime bans, IP addresses are logged.
How can I give my child incentives to learn more?
Parents can give their child incentive to attend the SecretBuilders School once they are a premium member:
An additional monthly allowance of virtual money to be given to their child if they attend the in-world SecretBuilders School.
- A monthly allowance of virtual money to be given to their child for good real world behavior!
- Regular feedback on player behavior and playing times.
By showing your support via membership you help us to deliver the SecretBuilders mission of providing immersive learning and a creative outlet for your child, in a safe online environment.
What are Quests?
In SecretBuilders, Quests are missions which take children adventuring into our cultural history, inside the storyline of great books, and into a fantasy world where they interact with influential philosophers, writers, playwrights, musicians, artists, mathematicians – they may rub shoulders with King Lear or Tom Thumb, Copernicus or Beethoven.
Quests encourage creativity and curiosity in a child. They involve solving riddles, unlocking puzzles, collecting important artifacts, playing games, walking through mazes, helping lost famous characters find their way or any combination thereof!
What is the Crooked Pencil?
The Crooked Pencil is the SecretBuilders online magazine. Children can submit stories, plays and poems, jokes and biographies (all content is read by a moderator before being published).
They can also submit pictures of their pets (from real life!) and reviews.
All submitted content can be reviewed and commented upon by other players, and as with all content, everything is read by and checked by a moderator before publication.
How can my child help with fundraisers?
It’s easy for children to raise funds using our ‘One For All’ charity feature, which is accessed either from the Fundraising button on the main page, or by using the ‘One For All’ button in the game.
The charity of your choice is paid by our sponsors for players answering education-related questions, in return for which banner advertisements appear on the bottom of the quiz screen. That’s it!
Teachers can also organize fundraising activities by enrolling students who are SecretBuilders.
What kind of contests can my child enter?
Contests are one of our most popular features.
Our highly popular contests include art, photography, writing and idea contests, with rewards of such as 1 year membership, $500 cash, or even a brand new Wii! Contests are a great way to promote and reward creativity in kids.
Examples of past contests including: "The Kid Inventor Challenge”, where kids designed a toy that will become a real toy inside SecretBuilders; “Help the Kelp”, in partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to restore life to the Kelp Forest; and the “Frank 'n Stein”, an Art Coloring Contest.