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Parent reviews for Animal Jam

Common Sense says

Beware unmonitored chat in Nat Geo virtual world.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 279 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 553 reviews
Parent of a 5, 8, and 11 year old Written byCassidy D. April 5, 2013

3 cheers for Animal Jam!

Animal jam is a safe fun site. It is educational and pretty safe. And you can't say anything that offensive. The games are fun and both my 8 and 11 year olds love it.everywhere you go there are new places and it is always being updated. I truly think its a good game (I even have my own account that I go on sometimes!) Everyone should play!
Adult Written bykcoutts January 31, 2013

Warning: Unhealthy Addiction to This Game Will Take Over Your Child's Life

This is a highly addictive multiplayer online role playing game. All parents should be warned before bringing this into their lives that their children will prefer this game over eating, sleeping, exercise, and outings, and you will find yourself saying "no Animal Jam" multiple times daily. Under the National Geographic brand, you will assume this is a "safe" game, with parental controls, but that is not the issue. The problem is with addiction, and that the educational aspects of this are virtually nil, considering it is optional for the children to click on the educational facts, otherwise the main thing they will learn is materialism, as they strive to acquire possessions for their avatar. Other things they will learn are: lying, cheating, and stealing, as experienced players take advantage of new players by lopsided trades, and new players give away their passwords and thus control of their possessions to strangers. You were warned!

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byfaeriemoonmama July 13, 2011

Hacked in account--NO customer service, UNmoderated chat

TERRIBLE automated customer service. UNMODERATED chat. My daughter's account was hacked into by another player who lied to my daughter (she thought he was a moderator) and all her things were "stolen." Animal Jam had the nerve to send an automated response to my email complaints. I left two messages on their phone line (which is never staffed apparently) and never got a call back. We won't be renewing our account.
Parent of a 8 year old Written byelli_73 April 16, 2014

Great, fun, educational game!

I am surprised by what other parents have written here because I've been very happy with my child playing Animal Jam.

I love the amount of educational content in the game, plus all the free activities they offer for us to do when computer time is up. I monitor my child's online play closely, and have never seen inappropriate behavior in the game. A lot of the kids attempt to "trade" outside of the system created in Animal Jam, but we've reviewed the videos about the trading system and how to avoid being scammed.

I think more parents need to be involved from the beginning when their children play a game, rather than complaining when their child runs into trouble. It's our job to ensure they are safe online and to guide them through how to deal with different scenarios on the web.

Animal Jam has created a safe, moderated game for kids, and I would recommend it for kids in the 8-12 age range.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent Written bylarchmont April 28, 2013

Stay Away from Animal Jam

If you have sweet, considerate, trusting children who want to go on this site and see animals... beware! They will be exposed to rude, selfish, manipulating children who steal, coerce, lie and use your child to take advantage of, and steal the items they may have. My child has been crushed by the vicious manouvers of other mean kids. It is not a game. It is a playground full of bullies. My child is not naive, but she is honest. Believe me, this trait is not rewarded on the animal jam web site.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written bysilimom1 March 3, 2013

Educational but not always in a good way.

My daughter has been playing animal jam for over a year and we were happy to find a game that seemed safe and where she could indulged her fascination and love of animals.

The past week, however, we noticed that she was being exposed to a great deal of foul language and sexual activity on this kid-friendly site. How can that be when the site has chat filters and constant moderation? Well, first off, the players have various short hand for swear words. For example, your child might be invited to a "stripped club" aka strip club. This is a den where tables with torches or lamp posts have been set up and animals dance on the table. The "f" word can be written as "phoc", etc.

As for sex, your child may be invited to a private den party. They are asked to sleep and the the other animal jumps up and down on them asking all sorts of inappropriate things like "Is this hard enough" "Oh that's good baby". Don't believe me? Google animal jam sex for a whole punch of YouTube videos on the subject.

We've had to have several conversations about sex that I wasn't prepared for at the age of 10. I think good has come out of this as it's opened a discussion that is important to have with your kids but I resent that it wasn't on my terms and that it's happening so soon. Animal Jam will be receiving an email from me today but I want others to be aware that this is going on.

Animal Jam is educational and has the potential for a lot of good learning and fun. Unfortunately, there's always bad apples that will spoil the bunch.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byJenSBrooks February 17, 2014

Caused a lot of problems in our family...

My daughter had an AJ account for over a year with only the "Bubble Chat" (you can only send/receive messages from a set list). We had no problems until we turned on the full chat. My daughter was very persuasive with the "There are moderators. You can report people who are inappropriate." and I decided to give it a try because she is getting older.

Almost immediately I started noticing problems...my daughter, who has always respected the recreational time limits we place on her screen time, was routinely going overtime and lying about it. She also started to be more dishonest in her day-to-day interactions. Nothing huge - but it was there.

She was frequently sullen after using the game and was constantly obsessing over what object she was trying to get/trade and telling me stories about how "this person scammed me". On occasions when she wasn't allowed to use her screen time she became intolerably angry.

I finally did some reading and found other parents have experienced this and saw reports of animals behaving sexually in the "dens".

As of today we are back down to "Bubble Chat" only. I predict she will cry and pull out her hair for a few weeks but I am willing to do this because I feel so strongly that this type of game with a chat feature is not for children.

Follow-Up: Six+ months after shutting down Animal Jam things have improved significantly! You cannot believe how the obsessive collecting, scamming and inappropriate chat these kids are encountering on this site could impact a child's behavior! Don't let your kids play this game or others like it!!!!!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Consumerism
Privacy & Safety
Parent Written byjawstheshark June 18, 2013

not for kids

This is a game made to scam kids. Everything is set up so only "members" get the cool things. If you can fork out 50$ a year for this virtual game, go ahead. Animal Jam doesn't teach kids about the environment as much they do about getting what you want. The filters also do not block words like d__k, c__k, c__t and p___y for example. I had to ban this game in my house.

This title contains:

Language
Consumerism
Privacy & Safety
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byStacyWacy May 2, 2011

Responsive developers, game is even better than before

I wrote a review a while back - it is below this.
In it I stated some problems with the site, how kids were preying upon each other. I wrote to the developers and complained, and they responded wonderfully. Steps were taken to prohibit the scamming that players were able to perform on each other, several of my suggestions were incorporated fully into the game. I was very impressed with their response to the feedback I gave. My old review follows but it isn't applicable anymore, as trades are only made now when a pop-up appears in a totally different area of the screen, and the child has to move the mouse over and click there to complete the transaction, eliminating the possibility of trading without realizing you're doing it that I described below. Also, the kids get to vote on which items should be brought back to be sold again.
The aspect of the game that I had found disturbing was eliminated and the game is safer and doesn't feel predatory anymore. My kids love this game, and I approve.

---------------
I strongly approved of this site when my children started playing it last year, but things have changed. (My kids are 7 and 9, and yes they are a little young for the site, but I haven't had any issues with it until now). The things I find negative don't really fall into the given categories, so I guess I have to write it down.
All those good things about it are still true, it is educational, there is no selling of site products to them.
However, the player interaction part has changed. It used to be the kids would play and interact and pretend with each other. You be the mommy and I'll be your baby bunny sort of thing.
Now the entire focus of the game has become acquiring rare items. This often involves tricking other more trusting players out of their items.
Mostly trading occurs on trading forums, but players have started to approach each other, encouraging them to use mail to send or gift each other the items. This happened to my child and she has watched it happen to others. One player suggests mailing instead of trading, and another player stands nearby assuring you child it works great to mail instead of trade and it's fun and safe. So my child mails her rare item to the other child, in expectation that she will get the same item in a different color back. Instead the other player disappears with her item.
But wait, there's more. These rare items are highly desired by all players. If your child has one, they will be hounded to trade or give it away until they hide it.
There are also lots of players saying 'Tap on this space repeatedly to get a rare item!' Oh and if you have a rare item put it on your trading list, tap here quickly and you'll get another one of the same rare item. The kids are completely desperate to get this items, and they believe this and don't see the risk. Then the player telling them to quickly click the space moves their character over the spot, and a trade is initiated, approved, and completed before your child realizes what is going on. Suddenly the pop-ups flash across the screen and it's over. There is no record of who they even traded with, they've now got a common undesirable item in exchange for their rare one.
If your child is not already a little hardened to the tough world where people lie, cheat, and steal, Animal Jam will introduce them to it. I suppose losing a virtual item is better than being scammed out of a real item. Nonetheless it is sad that a fun game has turned into a land where gangs of thug kids prey upon the innocence and desperation of others.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Adult Written bysaracup April 10, 2014

Addiction and Lying

The game teaches children to acquire stuff compulsively and teaches other kids how to lie to get other kids' stuff. There are misspelled words that are a vocabulary for inappropriate sexual innuendo. And, to those parents who say that their child's account has been "hacked," that's not exactly true. Kids are coerced into sharing passwords, and then are afraid to tell their parents that they shared the password. I went through a lot with my daughter and this game. I cancelled her subscription, much to her consternation. I question the whole "virtual world" concept with kids this young. As for the National Geographic imprimatur, I find that spurious at best. DON'T LET YOUR KIDS PLAY THIS, PLEASE!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byconcernedparenttoday April 21, 2013

Animal Jam Warning

My child was playing this game when all the sudden a bubble pops up with the question "Do you like me?". I immediately felt bothered by this, so I started googling around.

As it turns out, Animal Jam is infamous for allowing the following chat conversations to take place: "Do you like me", "Are you a boy or girl?" "Let's go back to my igloo/den/etc....". From there, the animals "jump" on each other and simulate sex while the gamers post lewd and inappropriate screen chat messages to describe what the animals are doing.

National Geographic claims that the moderators will block such content, but apparently they don't consider phrases such as "thrusts really hard into opening" and "I'm sticking all of me in you" to be offensive enough to block.

Perhaps these phrases were eventually blocked, I really don't know. But my point is that the moderators have no system in place to stop a user from creating a new account and typing in lewd phrases that are intentionally misspelled or have spaces (with the goal of keeping themselves off the moderators automated keyword radar). In fact, the Animal Jam users who do this are very proud of escaping the censorship of the moderators and engaging in what is known as "Animal Jam Sex".

Just google "animal jam hardcore mating" to see the you tube videos and screenshots of what I am talking about. When you see the chat bubble comments made, it is 100% obvious that this is not a child (or even a pre-teen) making these comments. It could be a teenager. But more than likely it is an adult, as it is very detailed and graphic.

Even worse.....The "animal jam hardcore mating" video is only one of thousands out there showing that this occurs regularly on Animal Jam. There are many gamers out there who are very proud of their Animal Jam sex scenes, and they love to share them on you tube and other blogs. I also found many comments and blog posts from other concerned moms who started googling around after their child received the "Do you like me" or "let's go back to my igloo/den" request.

When I first saw all this I wondered if perhaps the videos and screenshots of Animal Jam sex, along with all the graphic comments, were photoshopped. But unfortunately they aren't. This game could very easily be used by a pedophile or predator to lure a child.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Privacy & Safety
Parent Written byGordieDD April 9, 2013

AVOID ANIMAL JAM, NOT FOR KIDS!!!!

Avoid this site. It all started when my daughter had her account hacked and all of her items, pets, dens etc were stolen or deleted out of her account. We have learned that another child copied her password when she logged in. Animal jam customer service refused to restore any of her stolen items and offered a token credit. Very, very poor customer service. Further, now that I have been dialed into the game more closely, content is very inappropriate and poorly monitored. AVOID THIS SITE, NOT FOR KIDS!!!!
Parent Written bycooperlove January 5, 2013

Scam

This is a scam. Do not sign up for the membership. They charge you and make it very difficult to turn off your membership. I've contacted the help desk numerous times for over a year and have yet to speak to anyone. On one occasion, I was on hold ten minutes only to be told I was calling out of business hours. I'm still being charged! Save yourself the headache!

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written byTheWiseParent April 22, 2016

Animal Jam-BEWARE

Animal jam is said to be a game that many children all over the world can learn about animals and make many new friends its also said that animal jam is one of the most best children games in the world but BEWARE animal jam will RUIN your child's life like it ruined mine, they will slowly become more and more addicted to this game and it will eventually take over their life. Now i don't mean that they play for 30min-1 hr i mean they play 24/7 this game has made my peaceful young daughter into a monster, I have to constantly say "No" to her every hour when she asks to play this game and by the days that she has been addicted to it i eventually tried the game for myself. I went on my daughters account and once i saw what the game was about i was shocked. My daughters account was full of these items called "Spikes" and "Headdresses" and other "rares" and i definitely knew this was not the game i want my daughter to be playing so i quickly made a decision to delete my daughters account but i knew that would break her heart so i "Disabled" it for about 4 months now and she is starting to get over the game that has almost completely ruined her life, now shes finally acting like my 9yr old angel again and for all parents reading this Please don't get your child involved with this game.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Adult Written byCommonSenseSeeker April 15, 2016

My Terrible Experience with Animal Jam

My child recently made an Animal Jam account with my permission because I thought I could trust the National Geographic company. I managed their account with the parent account. I just happened to be watching my child play Animal Jam one day and I noticed that it is not for kids at all. I saw people typing really bad things that I can't believe the censors did not catch. Someone typed " I like all the girls kitty cats and I want to go inside of them". It was disgusting to see such a thing on a kids game. I also noticed lots of sw*aring and s*xual behavior between players. I noticed one wolf howling while the other one jumped up and down and they were both saying crude and s*xual things. I seen vi*lent acts made upon Animal Jam players who were in the forest. Someone said " I want to grill you and stuff you like a stuffed turkey and eat your guts". Animal Jam is not safe for anyone there is too much sw*aring, s*x, drinking, dr*gs, sm*king and vi*lents. Animal Jam focuses on consumerism and only gives their customers pixelated items. Animal Jam's only real gain is when they scam you out of your money so your kids can waste their lives collecting useless pixelated items of no real monetary value. Animal Jam has safety and privacy concerns as well when some young players give out their personal information. I believe that if a business runs and operates an online game that they should have a chat filter that blocks personal information or they should just have a bubble chat where the players would not be able to give out their information. If online games had an advanced bubble chat system players would be able to say what they wanted to without having to worry about privacy or safety concerns.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written bygorillazss August 4, 2013

I think animal jam is the perfect learning system for kids 6 and up and it is very fun

Animal jam is the best ever but there is a dark force reffured to phantoms that may be scary for 5 and under

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Consumerism
Adult Written byPrincipleAnn October 11, 2011

animaljam on!!!

it is a fun way to talk to other people all over the world and to learn fun facts about the world and it animals while you get to learn how to spend your money and earn money while playing fun age appriote games

Animal Jam is wonderfully educationally fun!!!
Let your children go on animal jam and have a good time!!!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Parent Written byEmanon1978 June 27, 2016

BILLING FRAUD

It was a game where there was not cursing and bad things happening so I allowed him to play. Then he wanted a membership. I told him he would have to earn the money. He worked six weeks to earn a year membership. I put it on my card and they deducted $60.00 from my account. The CODE was not valid. We tried six months later same thing. When trying to get it resolved, NO PHONE, the emails were only links on how to activate the code. Which we were following the instructions and had COPY and PASTED the code so no room for error there either. The company only email premade responses and does not solve real issues. Then the next time he tried to log in his password and email were invalid for logging in. FISHY???? FRAUD I am contacting better business Bureau.
Adult Written bySweetBunniez February 12, 2016

Awesome Game!

I see many people here saying that sexual content and swearing are an issue in this game. That is not true. Animal Jam is an incredibly safe place for children and teens to play. Animal Jam is constantly improving their chat system and making it more safe day by day! Although, there will be the occasional Boy or Girl requesting a partner. If you do not want your child to have chat, you can go into your parent settings and choose Bubble Chat.

My daughter has been playing for a year now and is incredibly happy with this game.
Adult Written bytigerlypaws September 21, 2015

Ignore the bad reviews

Hey parents,

I've read your reviews about Animal Jam, what a load of rubbish. I'm an player of Animal Jam, and no, it's not additive or unsafe. I think you're all being unfair towards Animal Jam here. It's like any kids game out there (Moshi Monsters, Club Penguin, Bin Weevils, etc) there are going to be players who try to break the rules, but there are safety measures put into the game. There's a very good chat filter which blocks any bad language, sex talk, etc. Actually, the chat filter is so safe that sometimes I get warnings when I'm chatting to my friends. If I said for example ''I come from the UK'', that would be blocked because Animal Jam doesn't allow ANY personal information talk. Animal Jam has released a new trading system which is so helpful with getting rid of scammers, and you can no longer get ''scammed''. The only way players could get ''scammed'' before is if they weren't good at protecting their items. I've been playing National Geograhic Animal Jam for a good 3 years, I've NEVER been scammed and I trade quite often. That shows if you're kids know how to protect their items, they can keep them safe. As I said, there are going to be them kind of players (jammers) who try to break the rules. In-game, you can find an ''ignore'' button and ''report button''. AJHQ is always posting safety advice on their blog here: http://dailyexplorer.animaljam.com/?cat=18 and there's even a safety quiz in-game all the time, and while your kids are playing through Jamaa they can find the rules at the top of their screen. Remember, there is over 40,000,000 players (jammers) now. National Geograhic Animal Jam has over 100 staff members(adults), many of them moderate the game.

I've learned so much about our environment and animals while playing National Geograhic Animal Jam, it's a truly wonderful place to be. There's educational mini books which contains TONS of facts, information, and beautiful graphics. Your kids can get so many adorable animals, new animals are added every 6 weeks or so with brand new educational mini-games and minibooks. Every mini-game in the world of Jamaa is educational, and National Geograhic Animal Jam is always adding new educational resources. They recently opened up a little academy website here: http://academy.animaljam.com/ with helpful educational resources. And over on the Daily Explorer (Animal Jam's blog) they post fun Animal Jam Academy experiments every Sunday, and news, educational videos, contests, and much more daily. While you kids explore Jamaa, they can watch so many educational videos and apparently kids are spending up to 35 minutes watching them. Not to mention the amazing exhibits over at the Conversation Museum in the Animal Jam appondale. I'm always learning how to protect our planet. I joined Animal Jam to learn about animals, and I can happily say Animal Jam has really helped with that.

Now, I know many of you are concerned about membership, Well, let me explain. Half of your membership funds go to help save Big Cats in the wild, and your kids can donate gems over at the Conversation Museum to the National Geograhic Big Cats association too. Like other games, there are members only items and content, but there's always fun stuff to do as a non-member. Pretty much all the educational resources are for ALL players (jammers) and mini-games too! I would suggest you IGNORE the bad messages, and maybe try to see my points here. Parents will want to ''bring the game down'' because they haven't heard a proud AJ player's thoughts and review. I'm an Animal Jam fan blogger, if you decide Animal Jam is the perfect game for your kids, you can check out all the Animal Jam fan blogs out there which are 100% safe. Here's an Animal Jam fan blog with over 11,000,000 views: http://animaljamspirit.blogspot.co.uk/. The Animal Jam community is super kind, and we all care about the wonderful world of Jamaa. Well, I hope you see my point and try to see Animal Jam in the way I do. Happy ''jamming''!

This title contains:

Positive Messages

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