Virtual Worlds for Kids
Which came first – virtual worlds for kids or virtual worlds for adults? This question is tough to answer; even experts cannot decipher what age group first decided that virtual worlds were a great source of entertainment.
What is evident is that virtual worlds, 3D computer generated environments, are hugely popular with kids. There are over 100 virtual reality sites aimed at children on the ‘net with new ones being added almost daily. Click here to learn about kids virtual worlds. For information about virtual pet worlds click here.
Your children can use the internet to interact with others in the virtual realm. Chatting, game play, and alternate personas are all popular with kids. The virtual worlds for kids offer age appropriate content and have safety devices in place to monitor use and content.
The Best of the Best
With so many virtual worlds available for kids it is important for parents to know what sites their child visits and what the sites offer. Here are some examples of the most popular virtual worlds online today that are made for kids:
- Club Penguin is perhaps the best site for kids to interact with each other. Children create a penguin avatar and slip and slide through a virtual environment of games and social interaction. Your children can design their own igloo and are responsible for helping to monitor content. This accountability feature is a favorite with parents as it encourages children to be responsible and informed. Club Penguin has a free service or a paid membership.
- Webkinz World is another well known virtual world for kids. To enter the Webkinz World your children must have a Webkinz pet. These stuffed toys are available in many stores. Each Webkinz pet comes with a code that allows access to Webkinz world. Once your children have entered this virtual environment they can personalize their space and interact with other users. There is no paid membership; the cost of the virtual world is pre-paid when you purchase a Webkinz pet.
- Toon Town is a Disney’s first foray, (Club Penguin is also owned by Disney), into virtual worlds and is still popular today. It is a fun place where kids can play games based on Disney’s many cartoon characters. As with Club Penguin there is a free option and a paid membership.
There have been many negative remarks in the media concerning the safety of virtual worlds for kids. These negative reports have lead to the creation of many safety measures on virtual websites aimed at kids. Click here to learn more about online safety for kids. Find information about virtual 3D chat worlds here.
Club Penguin constantly monitors its site for inappropriate content and inappropriate chatting. Paul Yanover, the Managing Director of Disney Online, says that online chatting is parent controlled. Even though Club Penguin software filters all content parents must be pro-active in making sure their children act responsibly on any virtual world internet site. Click here to learn about Teen Online Communities. For information about virtual worlds for tweens click here.
All virtual worlds for kids have implanted some form of safety measures in response to earlier negative comments and worries over the safety of children. With these measures and with parents monitoring their child’s internet usage virtual worlds are now considered safer for children. For information about virtual worlds for Teens, click here. Or, if you are interested in learning just about Second Life for teens, click here.
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