A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the NBC/Universal Studios-owned USA Network runs this site as a promotional tool for their shows and star actors, and an advertising vehicle for sponsors. Many of the games have character tie-ins, including Character Sudoku or Solitaire, which display the faces of actors from shows like Monk, Psych, and Prison Break on the spaces and cards. Players who join the free site can upload a photo of themselves or create a cute WeeMee Character, which players can dress up in outfits, including an "I (heart) Monk" T-shirt. Some of the games featured are gambling ones.
What's it about?
NBC/Universal Studios-owned USA Network runs this game site as a promotional tool for the network's shows and star actors, and as an advertising vehicle for sponsors. There are tons of ads for everything from Netflix to Weight Watchers. The limited number of games are OK, and some involve gambling, word play, and memory. The message boards aren't heavily trafficked right now and are clean and respectable
Is it any good?
If your teen arcade game lover can stand all of the ads and USA Network references, the games on CHARACTERARCADE.COM are quite harmless and the avatar-style WeeMee-creating process can be quite fun. None of these games will win any innovation awards, but you'll find some creative twists (often related to USA shows, of course) on some stock arcade games. Up to now, the message boards aren't a big draw. Links to larger sites for USA shows and an NBC/Universal site are much more highly promoted. But if kids only want to play games it's easy to avoid the boards and these other related sites.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why this site has so many ads. Since it's run by a TV network, help your kids make the connection between the amount of ads flashed in front of them during a TV episode and the number of ads peppered throughout this site. Which seems to have more? Why?