U.S. audiences may best know Jaime Camil for his role as Rogelio de la Vega, the dad slash telenovela star in The CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” But for his latest act, Camil embraced a completely new medium, and voiced a Spanish-speaking monster called Mo in an augmented reality game that’s part of the Osmo franchise of games.
“Monster en Español,” as the title is officially called, is Osmo’s latest game to use the iPad’s and iPhone’s front-facing camera as a way to combine action on the screen with physical play-time. The game, which was previously released in English, invites children to draw objects with pen and paper, and then makes them come alive in the hands Mo, the playful monster voiced by Camil.
Camil told Variety during a recent interview that he first stumbled across Osmo when he saw an ad for the company’s games on the Disney channel. “I bought the device for my kids, and it was amazing,” he said.
The actor went on to buy ten more Osmo units to give away to nieces, nephews and friends with families. And then, Camil did something that his telenovela alter ego may have done as well: He gave Osmo a shout-out on social media. “I am shameless,” he quipped.
Osmo responded, and he started to chat with the company via direct messages, telling them: “You should do this in Spanish!” The company asked him wheter he’d be up for teaming up, and he agreed on the spot. “My big mouth always gets me in trouble,” joked Camil.
Camil, who has a three-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter, hopes that the game will help his children stay bilingual and practice their Spanish. He also argued that it was essential to provide toys like this in Spanish to the country’s estimated 20 million Spanish-speaking children. “This country is extremely diverse,” he said. “That is what makes this country so great.”
Osmo’s “Monster en Español” is being released for $49 on 11/13. The game will be available at Target, Best Buy and on Amazon as well as Osmo’s website. Tangible Play, the company behind Osmo, was founded in 2013 by former Google engineers. The company raised $25 million from Sesame Workshop and others in late 2016.