Xeko Elf Island

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Xeko Elf Island Game Poster Image
Parents recommend
Reality-based quests let kids contribute real-world help.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2-year-old Written byRolyPoly October 15, 2009

A Pretty Promising Game

Obviously, Roman is too young to play it (though he does like the colorful pictures and music), but I definitely like the positive message that the game has. T... Continue reading
Parent of a 2, 3, 10, and 13-year-old Written bymother of 4 October 13, 2009

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 Goo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bystiruam May 8, 2011
love it
Kid, 8 years old December 30, 2010

great for kids ages 7 to 18

well i love xeko its great for small kaids big kids and all ages try it not thanks its is the best

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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