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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 this vast virtual world is integrated onto all of the major social networks -- Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, and Bebo -- so users can import all of their contacts into the game and meet up with them. The site lets users design an avatar, build a home, play games with friends, and chat. To succeed, you have to buy credits with real cash or play a lot to earn points -- or both.
What's it about?
The FRESBO WORLD slogan is "Think, build, play" and to that end, the site offers an ample supply of resources -- building blocks, structures, furniture, street signs -- that you purchase (with real money) to build vast empires in which to play and invite friends. The site has two types of currency -- points and credits. Points are earned from playing games and credits are purchased with cash. Having currency is necessary for much activity on the site, which means kids must either spend lots of time earning points or use cash to quickly boost their inventory. Kids can also earn credits through a Fresbo World partner program that includes gambling, dating, surveys, and sweepstakes sites.
Is it any good?
Fresbo World has all the usual virtual world features: avatars, shopping, decorating, email, chat, pet adoption, and games. The big difference here is that users can build their own complex worlds -- a big draw for creative types. But this site has two big caveats: the age range of players and the ongoing cost of playing. Since the site is embedded into social networking sites, there's a wide range of ages playing at any one time, so chat is a free-for-all. And, while there are plenty of cool things to do in Fresbo World, money is required to get to the good stuff.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what kids should do if they are a target or witness of abusive behavior online. If kids think someone should be reported on the site, do they know what to do and what information to collect for administrators? Read our Internet Safety Tips for Middle School Kids.