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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DGamer.com allows players to create an avatar and display the badges and outfits they've earned in any DGamer-enabled Nintendo DS game. Currently more than 25 games support this feature. DGamer appears to offer strong chat safeguards and privacy protection through automatic filters.
Is it any good?
DGAMER.COM is a destination for young fans of Disney's Nintendo DS games, including Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals. Kids can learn about new releases through news updates and a "countdown" widget, and view and share achievements they've earned by playing DGamer-enabled games and connecting to DGamer through the Nintendo DS's built-in WiFi capability. The website also offers chat, polls, videos (region-locked to the U.S.), and a customizable dashboard. DGamer is far less "social" than places like Facebook, or even other gaming sites that boast online forums.
The site's chat feature is advertised as a way for fans to exchange gameplay tips, but the single chatroom, while active, tends to consist of inane non game-related chatter. DGamer is a fun way for fans to display their game achievements and learn about new Disney games, but as a social network it still has a ways to go.
Online interaction: The site provides a safe chatroom where users can only select from approved questions and statements or words and catch-phrases from Disney franchises (like "white rabbit" from Alice in Wonderland), and a less restrictive chat where words that aren't in Disney's dictionary will be highlighted in red and must be replaced with another word. Two people can't chat privately with each other unless they exchange previously agreed upon "friend codes."
Talk to your kids about ...
Does the ability to earn costumes and badges and display them online makes playing the games themselves more fun? Why do you think game makers want you to go to a website related to a game you already play? Do you think they are advertising to you, or is this just another way to have fun with the games?
Do you enjoy chatting about games in a social network? What are ways you can make sure to stay safe when interacting with others online?