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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents needs to know that Action AllStars presents a virtual world geared to kids who like sports and are interested in following professional sports teams. The site has minimal free content and a free trial period, but the real action -- including live chat features -- is enabled with a paid membership. Membership allows users to create a customizable "athlete" who can collect trading cards, chat with other athletes, compete in daily challenges, and earn gear from their favorite professional teams.
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What's it about?
Centered around kids' interest in sports, ACTION ALLSTARS is a virtual world full of sports games and sports teams. A free one-month trial lets kids create a cute, sporty "athlete" avatar who can explore various ballparks and arenas where they'll discover assorted activities and safe chat areas. The trial will whet the sports-minded kid's appetite, but it's the membership that allows them to get to the good stuff: collecting trading cards, earning tokens, and "buying" gear for their athlete (including NBA and MLB branded accessories) or decorating their "home turf." Users will find games galore that test talents in snowboarding, baseball, basketball, football, and more.
Is it any good?
Kids who enjoy playing or watching sports will find much to do as they explore the Action AllStars world of arenas, ballparks, and fields. The games range from simple and slightly dull to creative and quite challenging. This sports-centric world is full of friendly competition, but the real game here is winning. Just like real life, the athletes here are rewarded for wins.
New members are dubbed "amateurs" and can increase their level as they compete with the ultimate goal, of course, to become a pro. And the more users play, the more tokens they receive toward virtual gear. It takes an awful lot of tokens, however, to "purchase" the gear, which means users will need (and probably want) to spend an awful lot of time online trying to earn them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why active kids who are interested in sports would find a virtual sports world appealing. Do the games offered here help teach kids sportsmanship or increase skills? Do they create interest in sports that they haven't yet attempted or just entice kids to spend more time on the computer?