What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this popular virtual world for tweens has strong safety features that prevent users from sharing personal information, including several options for chatting. Many of the site's activities center on shopping or fashion, but there are no ads.
Is it any good?
FANTAGE is a richly designed -- and densely populated -- virtual world where tweens cruise around castles, forests, and cities on rocket boards. Although it's nicely animated and easy to navigate, Fantage doesn't stray far from the standard social world formula. Games are simple, but fun, and they're built into the scenery -- along with some surprises -- making for a high level of interactivity. Users can also complete larger quests to earn special items, and the Fantage blog keeps residents posted on new developments, events, and missions -- meaning that this virtual world is constantly growing and changing.
Online interaction: There's lots of interaction, but it's safe, friendly, and closely monitored. The site has filtered chat (no profanity or personal info) and safe chat (scripted phrases only). Users can IM each other and request buddies, as well as block certain users.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about safety in virtual worlds. What information is OK to share online, and what's off limits? You can also discuss how to apply the social skills you learn in the virtual world to life offline: How would you approach a new friend? What would you do if someone was bothering you?