A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that to get a passport you need to put in your birth date, an email address and password, full name, address, city, state, and ZIP code. There is also an opportunity to get on a mailing list but you can refuse it. Some may decide to use a pseudonym throughout this process. Just remember the email address and password you use when you sign up and you will be able to get in again.Families who visit this site will find that the arcade games are fun but they are filled with many marketing messages.
What's it about?
Fun K Town is an urban metropolis populated with tiny sim people, cars, even pigeons. Watch trains come and go at the station, spy on exercise enthusiasts as they work out on treadmills at the sports complex, and gaze at the growing queue at the movie theatre. Visiting various spots around town exposes you to many cereal characters, marketing messages, contests and promotions. To get the fullest use of the site, you need to visit the passport office. As you explore Fun K Town, you'll get a stamp in your passport when you visit a location. There are also secret stamps you discover as you move around the site. The more of these special stamps you get, the more games you can play or prizes you can win.
Is it any good?
The site is fun and engaging despite its oodles of marketing messages and a few technical glitches. For instance, you can spend your stamps in the arcade, but be aware: we gave up 10 stamps to play the featured game but it apparently did not work on the Macintosh Safari browser.
One of the oddest parts of the site is the Fun Factory, which offers some unusual craft ideas. Sort Froot Loops by color. Crush them. Select a picture and use glue and the crushed cereal to "paint" it. Or use glue and Froot Loops to create a decorative sculpture. Or make finger paint by mixing crushed Froot Loops with vanilla pudding. Uh, right. It's more fun to use the virtual drawing tools in "Fun K Pix," where you can draw with onscreen Froot Loops, Pop-Tarts, and Frosted Flakes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why it's important to be careful about giving out your name and email address to a Web site or to any companies that advertise on a Web site. What kind of things might they send you? Families can also discuss different kinds of online advertising. If you're playing a game that's sponsored by a food brand or features its products, does that count as an ad? Why or why not?