Innerstar University

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Innerstar University Website Poster Image
Buy American Girl, play in safe, positive virtual world.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 33 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about teamwork and sportsmanship in a cheerleading game and get basic math practice in a bake sale game. Girls also get tips on making homework fun, like pretending they're an actress and reading assignments aloud. Activities include background info on topics from ballroom dancing to the difference between user-submitted content and researched books. This fun site features an impressive focus on self-esteem and positivity.

Positive Messages

For American Girl doll owners, the site stresses self-expression and having confidence. The site's pledge asks girls to "follow their dreams" and "always do their best" -- and reminds them that they "can make a difference." There is an emphasis on traditionally girly things, like clothes, decor, and cheerleading.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

American Girl is a big brand that can eat into parent's pocketbooks quickly. This site revolves around owning one of the dolls and accessing the site using a code that comes with the doll. AG recently released a new book series based on the site that features special online endings and free access to the site for 14 days. The site currency -- called Stars -- is earned by completing tasks, and girls can use Stars to buy clothes and room decorations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that users must own an American Girl doll to access most areas of this upbeat virtual world. Once inside, the site's messages are positive and emphasize healthy self-esteem. Since girls communicate through prescripted messages, no personal information is shared and the space is a safe place for American Girl fans to play.

User Reviews

Parent of an infant, 2, 6, and 10 year old Written byAG Fan Parent June 26, 2013

Amazing, fun, safe, and NOT too expensive!

My 10-year-old daughter adores American Girl, and Innerstar U is a lot of fun for her. It's very safe, with safe communication that only involves "Em... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 year old Written bynicky mendel October 20, 2010
I love innerstarU.com! It's so much fun when the doll you created smiling back at you. I am so glad that they ade this just for us.
Kid, 8 years old March 22, 2015

Spectacular!

It is awesome!
Kid, 10 years old November 25, 2010

unfair

I had bought a american doll BEFORE Innerstar University. My doll did not come with a code. Now I have to buy another exspensive doll to play! >:(

What's it about?

Girls can access INNERSTAR UNIVERSITY with a code from a new American Girl Doll. A few games are available for free without a code. Girls receive awards for completing activities, which include a body confidence-building dance game and a music performance game encouraging dedication. The virtual world features an impressive focus on self-esteem and positivity; game intros outline ways to boost girls' self confidence and support them trying new things. Girls can also express themselves by decorating their room and choosing new avatar outfits.

Is it any good?

Girls who purchase new My American Girl dolls or Innerstar University books receive a code to enroll in the INNERSTAR UNIVERSITY virtual world. The campus-like atmosphere includes a number of activities, such as playing lighthearted games, like one that lets girls try on different hairdos. Another activity, the Body Balance game, illustrates basic yoga moves and gives girls an encouraging, upbeat message when they finish playing. Awards and medals earned by playing the site's games are stored in an online yearbook. Girls also work to complete task-oriented projects that include exploring different sections of the site. To buy room decorations and outfits, users receive 1,000 Stars -- which are the site's currency -- when they enter.

There are several fun activities on the site, and thanks to the frequent positive messages for completing activities, Innerstar University aims to build girls' self-esteem. The only catch? Without an American Girl doll code to log in, class may let out quickly -- there isn't much to do.

Online interaction: Girls can invite friends to play certain games, friend other users, and send messages to each other through the site using pre-written messages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about staying safe online. Why is it safer to use pre-written expressions when sending messages to people you don't know?

  • What kind of conversations or words should you watch out for on websites where you can send messages without any restrictions?

  • InnerstarU.com has games and other activities to make learning fun. How can you make school, homework, and reading more fun?

Website details

For kids who love playing online

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