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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 many of the games in this virtual world reward kids who can work together to achieve a common goal. Communication tools are policed using filtering technology and selective staff monitoring. The site is free, but access to enhanced features and content costs $9.95 per month, with discounts offered for multiple-month sign ups.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Many hands make light work. DIZZYWOOD takes this concept to the online world with games and activities that encourage kids to work together. The site offers a wide range of activities and games, from story-driven missions to creative opportunities. Kids will have the most fun roaming around in the guise of their customized avatar exploring, meeting friends, finding missions, playing games, or tricking out their own personal environment. The site bases many of its activities on values-based themes like friendship and kindness to animals and also sponsors "Quests for Change," a series of monthly events that encourage children to participate in activities like virtual food drives, clothing donations, and helping the environment.
Is it any good?
There's lots to do in Dizzywood -- and getting there is half the fun. The activities -- from archaeological digs to mini-scripted stories -- are interesting and well-devised. Tweens and younger users will certainly enjoy wandering the site, gathering up coins, and spending them on fashion gear and other fun items. At the end of the day, the success of the collaborative games will depend on how many people your child can persuade to work with him. And if the site truly rewards good behavior, it'll be interesting to see whether the good behavior spills over to the offline world.