Toronto’s five-year-old Cassie Creighton’s video game takes off

Nadine Bells
Good News

Toronto's Cassie Creighton is just five years old, but the kindergartner can already put "game-designer" on her resumé.

She's the voice, artist and inspiration behind the viral online game Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure.

The point-and-click adventure follows Sissy, a little girl, who needs to place magical ponycorns in jars.

(A ponycorn is a cross between a pony and a unicorn.)

Watch one gamer's fun review of Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure.

A few weeks ago, Cassie and her father, Ryan Henson Creighton, a Flash-game developer and founder of Untold Entertainment, attended TOJam, a three-day independent game creation challenge. Cassie's drawings of ponycorns at the event inspired Ryan to create the "impossibly cute" game.

The drawings and titles are Cassie's. The narration is her voice. The characters, puzzles and stories are her brainchildren. Her younger sister, Izzy, joined her in creating the background music.

Ryan, an advocate for better content in games, spent late nights scanning Cassie's work, crafting his daughter's imaginative storytelling into an interactive adventure.

Ryan wrote on his website that, at the time, he thought the ultimate payoff "would be the day she walked into her kindergarten class with our Blackberry Playbook, and showed the game off to the other kids. Short of 'Daddy and I built a jetpack,' it's probably one of the coolest show  and tell sessions ever."

And then people started playing it.

"It's just exploded," Ryan, 33, told the Toronto Star of the game's overnight success. "It's not violent. It doesn't have unnecessary, gratuitous gore."

The game can be played for free online here.

Ryan has set up an education fund for Cassie on the site so that satisfied gamers can reward the five-year-old girl for her work.

"I think it's important for her to see the fruits of her labours," he explained. "She realizes now that effort and hard work translate into results and success — and that's fantastic."

How does Cassie respond to the overwhelming response to her ponycorn drawings?

"Almost everybody in the whole world likes my game," Cassie told the Toronto Star.