GaiaOnline

Website review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
GaiaOnline Website Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Iffy content + constant consumerism = caution.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 141 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 205 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids 13 and older can learn how to communicate with others who are interested in anime in Gaia Online. Interactions based on a shared interest in anime can help them build online friendships and express themselves. Earning Gaia Cash to purchase premium items can also help teens build a better understanding of money; they have to decide how to spend it economically as they embellish their avatar. Used wisely, Gaia Online can help young anime fans connect and feel a sense of community.

 

Positive Messages

Users talk openly about personal issues and often don't seem to respect boundaries.

Violence

Discussions involving violence sometimes appear in forums.

Sex

The boards are rife with threads referencing sexual acts and talking about sex in general.

Language

Without the optional filter on, strong language such as "f--king" appears on the threads from time to time.

Consumerism

Kids are taught to earn money ("Gaia Gold") to buy things.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, drugs, and smoking all appear in forum threads, and sometimes are glorified.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while Gaia Online may attract young teens with its lively graphics, games, and opportunities to socialize with other kids, if you don't turn the filter on, adult language and topics are common. There's no doubt that your teen will stumble upon threads discussing "masturbation myths and fads" and "WTF moments" in a matter of minutes. The site also pushes kids to buy buy buy with their Gaia Gold virtual currency. The positive side of that is it teaches kids about money -- and to save up for something they like.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKuromi Kat January 9, 2011

No Parents!

I hate it. I am a former member. This is a cyber bully site in my opinion. People are rude in the forums, they are rude period. I was told people were nice on t... Continue reading
Adult Written byRowan_R October 21, 2010

I Think Not PARENTS BEWARE!

I am an ex-user on this site. I mean I suffered a lot of cyber bullying. They tote that it is a place for creativity, but the users well some, will tear your wo... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byNlandry2017 April 3, 2016

NOT FOR KIDS 5-15

Sexual items, Gender falsity, It has been proven this site is a site where a lot of pedophiles hangout.... Sex is a common theme, There are some players who act... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bykfsilverwind October 17, 2013

Gaia's downfall.

This site is slowly turning into a game completely driven by money, for the sake of money, for the money. Here is a post written by one of many dissatisfied pl... Continue reading

What's it about?

Log on to Gaia Online and play games, connect with other 13- to 18-year-old anime fans, collect downloadable wallpaper for cell phones, and buy items in virtual stores with Gaia Cash, which is earned with every session spent on the site. The first stop after your free sign-up is creating your avatar. When kids want to meet new people, they can hang out in virtual spaces such as the town and Virtual Hollywood, where they can chat and go clubbing. Kids also have the opportunity to earn extra Gaia Cash by participating in advertised offers such as completing surveys, signing up for free trials, watching videos, etc.

Is it any good?

Though the site appears to be kid-friendly and moderators are supposed to be trolling the boards for inappropriate images, racist and sexist language, and adult content, if you don't use the word filter it's rampant with such fare. For example, on a recent visit, the following threads appeared: "Your best WTF moment was…?" "What are your fave pick-up lines?" "Masturbation Myths and Fads" and "Poll: I wanna have sex with a boy." Perhaps the moderators were asleep at the wheel or their safety claim is just that -- a claim. Either way, it'd be good to sit down with the kids as they surf the site or just steer them away. There are plenty of others with cleaner content and just as robust audiences.

Online interaction: While some users may find support and camaraderie in the forums, there is also a lot of negativity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about maintaining boundaries online. What steps can you take to maintain your safety in a chat room? What information should you keep private in personal profiles and chat rooms?

Website details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love making friends online

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