Kongregate

 
(i)

 

Some games have mature content; iffy forums.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As in many online communities, most people are respectful, but a few users are abusive and make racist, sexist, and homophobic comments.

Violence

Lots of shoot 'em up games (zombies are a popular target). Most of the violence isn't overly gory or realistic.

Sex

Some scantily-clad animated women; occasional sexual comments in forums and on profiles.

Language

A filter censors profanity in the chat rooms, but there's a fair amount of cursing (including some hate words) in forums and profiles.

Consumerism

There are ads, and some games are sponsored and link to other sites.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few discussions about drinking and drugs in forums.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this gaming site has a lot of other interactive features besides games. Users can register to create a profile, chat while playing games, and post in forums. The site has extensive guidelines for "good behavior," appoints moderators, and encourages users to flag inappropriate content, but some users get away with posting hateful (racist, sexist, or homophobic) comments on their profiles or in forums. (The chat feature censors profanity.) It's hard to keep tabs on the thousands of games -- some are violent shooters and feature a bit of blood, but most are fairly mild and fine for teens.

What's it about?

Innovative game developers can showcase their creations on KONGREGATE.COM, a gaming portal that allows registered users to upload their own flash games -- and to share in the ad revenue that's generated. Teens who just want to get their game on will find plenty of options here, from simple shoot 'em ups to complex multi-player adventures. There's also a community element that allows registered users to chat, participate in forums, rate games, earn points, and other interactive features.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Most gaming portals are a mixed bag, but Kongregate's rating system -- and its policy of "hiding" games with bad ratings -- helps steer users toward the best offerings -- like the deceptively addictive "Dolphin Olympics" and the beautifully illustrated "5 Things" puzzle game (both of which, incidentally, are completely G-rated). Some of the forum threads (particularly "serious discussions") can get a bit heavy or hostile for teens, so it's smart to stick with what the site does best -- gaming.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what a good amount of time is for playing online games, and draw up some guidelines for balanced use, since some of the games on this site can be very addictive. Families can also watch our video about online gaming. Parents should also review what kind of information is OK to post in a profile and what's not.

Website details

Genre:Gaming
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Kongregate was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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About Our Rating System

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Great handpicked alternatives

  • Addictive game arcade with safe social feature.
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  • All-level play; some games have drinking, violence, sex.

What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byFactCheckingCJ July 26, 2012
 

Save yourself the frustration over the mentality of people, and move on.

I started using this as a child many years back, and back then I probably would have given it a 5/5 due to it being small enough to manage, friendly players and friendly staff, as it grew, and as the generation of web users shifted, so shifted the website into an extremely hostile place to some people, there are still many good and friendly players, but rarely, you will ever see them talk in public, because they know, if they say even one thing which is opinionated, they will be flamed, and trolled to no end, and even have their profiles harassed in some cases, this was no problem many years back, but now, every single report is ignored, unless you take action and go to the bosses, and they of course act the best they can. generally, the moderators are up to no good, a lot of times I've seen them not moderate the room appointed to them at all, or even condones extremist behavior, the best thing to do is, send their user name to the boss, yet again, or you will never be taken seriously, though this is not true for all moderators, some do their job as they are supposed to. -be sure to save all history of your chats of both the harasser and the moderator neglecting his duties, if you do ever get stuck in this situation. The Kreds system is a big issue, as there is an option to get free Kreds, by watching ads, or signing up for surveys, the children who knows no better, will often end up with an email account so full of spam they can hardly open their inbox anymore, or receive emails due to their email count having hit the limit. These surveys are also not moderated as they are from 3rd party websites which have no ties to Kongregate at all, besides being connected to the portal of which the kids can be redirected to the websites, not everyone thinks of making a "false" email just for the purpose of getting free things. also, these websites are often not safe at all if you do not have the proper security. - Another issue with this money based system, is the game developers it is attracting, years back, a micro transaction based game was a rare sight, most developers only wanted to make a piece of art, and often had the optional little tip jar, linked to their Paypal or the like, just in case a person liked their work so much that they deserved a little something for their efforts. This is no longer the case, After a few months, Kongregate had to add an entire section just for the money sucking MMO games, which make sure to make themselves as addictive as possible, which often require a steady income of money for the people to be able to play the actual game, where not paying only leads you to heavy restrictions, as if it was a demo, and as soon as you stop paying, you get these restrictions back instantly. I do not care where your money goes, but more often than not, it's the parents who suffer in the long run, a little money here and there isn't bad at all, if it means countless hours of fun, but several hundreds of dollars every year to pay for an addiction more than having fun, isn't worth it, and that is, what happens when the fun has long run out, and all that remains is the need to play, and stay in touch with the friends the player made. -There are also some organizations which post some extremist games, hiding the fact that it is intended to be a campaign ad, this is not so common yet, but it has made me very cautious about what I play, I would not want my child to be spoon fed with political nonsense, lies and opinions, over cold, hard, facts. -The web users are also being lured into paying for premium accounts for the website itself, as attractive as this may seem for the very active and social user, it is not worth any money, and often seems as if it is yet another attempt of stretching their income as far as they possibly can. Ever since they became a part of GameStop, the overall quality seems to have dropped even further, and continues to drop, I am extremely disappointed in this website, and I always make sure to tab away from the chat, otherwise I am just disgusted at how far the quality of their chat-rooms have fallen. In comparison, the formerly hated Newgrounds, is a safe haven for minors, which is also not good for the weak of heart, but at least they're well managed, and do not have changing ethics and moral standards where it seems profitable, that's the difference. I am very sorry for my poor English skills
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written byParent52 February 28, 2012
 

Kongregate not safe for any kids and why

Many of the other reviews comment correctly and accurately on a variety of Kongegrate features. The details of the inappropriate content within the chat rooms and forums, however, are not complete enough. It is not merely "salty" language, but an extremely high amount of sexual vulgarity and verbal pornography. These conversations are dominated by young males and include casual treatment of violent sexual behavior with rampant sexual propositioning and mistreatment of women. The reporting features do not work or are completely ignored and the "moderators" are frequently active participants in the behavior or turn a blind eye to it, even when asked to do something about it. I am a parent and I played the site for over a year before I finally got fed up with these occurrences and the complete lack of concern that Kongregate has regarding these problems.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byVackerer February 5, 2011
 
There are so much positive and negative contents on Kongregate, the way you should use the contents is to dodge the Negative things, simple, and the users below 13 years old should be watched by their parents and it's should be okay if they're behave properly on messages, game comments, reviews and forums.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value

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