Xeko Elf Island

Common Sense Media says

Reality-based quests let kids contribute real-world help.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Promotes positive social values through activities like "Goodquests" that prompt non-profit partners to plant trees, build houses, or
help animals in the real world.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

While you can play for free, only members can participate in the "Good Quests."

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) and virtual world. Kids enter the world as an elf and can interact with others within this world. Kids under the age of 13 must get parents permission (an email is sent to the parents) before they can play and chat. Chat is made safe because kids can only use predetermined words that are found in Elf Island's closed dictionary. Further safety features include live monitoring of chat. By playing in this virtual world, kids' in-game actions make a difference in the real world beause the game matches online quests to real-world solutions.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In ELF ISLAND (www.ElfIsland.com), kids enter a lush virtual world as an elf. While they can design their own elf avatar, buy it a house and decorate it, play fun minigames, and safely chat with others within this world, what makes this online game stand out from the over 200 others is its overarching theme of being an elf means doing good in the world. The game ties the story of unlocking the secret of Elf Island to doing a series of "Good Quests" in this virtual world, which are then mirrored in real life.

The current "Tree Good Quest" has kids playing games to earn seeds to plant fruit trees in the desert of Niger. Working with non-profit Plant-It 2020 (www.plantit2020.org) and the Eden Foundation (www.eden-foundation.org), when the in-game goal of planting 20,000 trees is reached, 2000 actual fruit trees will be planted in Niger. In the game, kids are introduced to this challenge by watching a video of an actual child in Niger who asks for their help. Kids learn about how planting trees in Niger will help the people there to grow their food and change the ecosystem so that life is more sustainable in the desert. While playing, kids can also learn more about the partnering non-profits.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This is a great concept to help promote digital, as well as actual, social responsibility. With more Goodquests being added all the time, Elf Island has the potential to guide kids toward philanthropic pursuits both on and offline. There is an occasional lag between "Good Quests," so kids might want to check back in after a few days if they hit that period of time where there isn't a "Good Quest" running.

While kids can enter this world for free, they don't get the benefit of Elf Island's "Gaming for Good" without becoming a paying member. Only paying members can go on "Good Quests." Membership starts at $5.95 for a month, $29.95 for 6 months, or $57.95 for a year. Since the game is actually contributing money to the non-profit partners to do good in the real world, this membership cost makes sense. Plus this way, Elf Island is a site that has no advertising.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how it feels to help real people  by playing a game. Does helping people virtually make you want to get involved in issues that you care about -- in the real world?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:$5.95/month
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Good Egg Studios, Inc
Release date:April 7, 2009
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:NR for (Mac, Windows)

This review of Xeko Elf Island was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byDisReviewer June 24, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Elf Island Review

Elf Island is a wonderful online world. It has a perfect message to everyone: The Power to do Good. If you aren't a paying member, they now allow you to complete one GoodQuest. This is basically your "trial version". After that, you will need to get a membership to continue. However, just the other month they launched the "Scale of Good". This allows non-members & members to donate coins, when the goal it met, Elf Island will help CLIMB (a company for theater & arts in schools) and they will also build a virtual stage in the game. That's the power of Elf Island's Mirrored Gaming!

It's an extremely easy game to play. All you need is the latest flash, and a good internet connection. Registration is fast and simple. Once you're done registering, just go to play.elfisland.com and log in. You're name will be Elf458865634, something similar to that. Your name will change to the one you put up during registration once it's been approved by a moderator.

Speaking about their moderators, they have an awesome staff team. They consist of HOST-'s which host different types of games in room for prizes. There is also MOD-'s which moderate the content, chat, and actions of the members. Just look for the Flying Egg with an "S" on it and they are staff!

Easy, safe, good message, fun, lively, creative, and excellent choice for kids AND adults to play. Invite the whole family!

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old Written byAlmanac8 May 13, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

It was good, until I had to pay to play.

I've played this game when it was in Beta, and here's what I have to say. Pros: Beautiful detail, a good dictionary, and friendly staff. Cons: After the Polar Bear quest, they made it so you had to subscribe in order to participate in Goodquests, the game can gets kinda slow, and you have to clear your cache in order to play, otherwise everyone's invisible. Overall, 4/5.

Parent of a 2, 3, 10, and 13 year old Written bymother of 4 October 13, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Something for everyone

I have two children that have played from the beginning. My daughter really loves animals, so she has been very excited about helping animals. Some of the GoodQuest have focused on areas that my children had not thought about, so it gave us a chance to discuss new topics and open their eyes to the world outside of their community. EI also makes them think about how to get involved. My son is very competitive so he works hard to win the weekly awards. Elf Island has something for everyone, and it's safe the moderators are visible which is an added bonus for me. Being someone that enjoyed going on mission trips, I hope Elf Island is their window to one day going to some of these locations to help. Keep up the Good work Elf Island!

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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