Games.MySpace

Website review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Some games OK for kids, but MySpace.com isn't.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Most of these games, while visually appealing and entertaining, may quickly become effective time-wasters for many teens.

Violence

Some games include violent images. Hangman includes image of a stickman being killed by torture devices; a self-inflicted gunshot to the head ending in a pool of red blood; an electrocution in a bathtub; and more.

Sex

Ads include "Meet Local Girls," "How to Flirt," and secrets to keeping a man attracted so he will "Never Leave You."

Language

On multiplayer games, language is unpredictable depending upon who is logged into that game. Chat feature is optional, and not monitored. As with most online chat or multiplayer situations, it's completely unpredictable whether the banter will be appropriate for kids or not.

Consumerism

Many large ads, including lots of MySpace hype and tie-ins. Many ads are not child-friendly, with adult dating themes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this site is an extension of the ultra-popular, social networking site MySpace.com. Most of the games are well-crafted fun, although some are laced with crude humor, gambling, and unnecessary violence. Yet the site's reassurance that "even if you have never played computer games before, this is the perfect place to start," along with the many simple games geared toward young players and the requirement to create a MySpace page to play multiplayer games raises the concern that players under 14 will be attracted to this site and, as a result, MySpace, too early. The site isn't moderated or fully monitored, so chat and comments can contain some iffy stuff.

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What's it about?

Many game fans will love the variety of games at GAMES.MYSPACE.COM. The extension of MySpace has arcade, puzzle, action, card, word, strategy, and multiplayer games. Players don't need to become members of MySpace.com to play most games, but if they do sign up for an account, they get access to multiplayer games, a chat feature, the ability to invite a "friend" to play a game, linking their personal profile to games, and more. Most games are kid-friendly, other than a few with unnecessary violence or crude humor.

Is it any good?

This site has plenty of options, which makes it fun for kids who have a wide interest in gaming, from cards and complex strategy to simple bubble popping games. That said, very few of the games would qualify as substantially educational and many may be considered time wasters by some parents. While MySpace maintains the rights to monitor chats and anything posted on its sites, it is not a moderated or fully-monitored, kid-style chat setup: MySpace does not claim responsibility for anything posted so content may vary widely depending upon who's playing a game. Thankfully, there is a "report abuse" feature on the multiplayer games for inappropriate posts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how young is too young to have a MySpace account. Rules are you must be 14, but many teens older than 14 may not be ready for that slice of life and the Internet safety savvy that is required. A safer option: Have your game fan play only the single-player games and, therefore, avoid signing up for a MySpace page.

Website details

  • Genre: Gaming
  • Pricing structure: Free

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