A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that you can build a profile on LolasLand.com, but it's all anonymous -- you're only identified by your screen name. Instead of letting users post their own snapshots, the site encourages safe social networking by having girls create a customizable avatar and upload pre-selected photos of things like cute animals. You need to register to set up a profile or jump around the various parts of the land, like Lola's Lounge. Girls supposedly need parental permission to join, but they can get immediate access by submitting their email and any email they claim is a parent's. All the site does is send parents a notification email letting them know that their child is using the site.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
LOLASLAND.COM is based on the fictional character Lola Love, who has her own book series published by HarperCollins Children's Books. Funky lounge-like music rings out as you travel through the ultra-girlie, very pink site and take quizzes, read 'zine articles on topics like palm reading, and check out movie reviews. The site's currency is called Lola Bucks. You earn them by playing games and taking part in site activities. You can also buy furniture and other items to decorate parts of the online world. However, users won't get access to one section -- the Magic Garden -- for a while: Entry costs a whopping $171,500 Lola Bucks.
Is it any good?
It's a little suspect that many of the featured fashion items come from the same places; that whole section feels kind of like a covert ad for UK-based stores like Topshop. But as virtual worlds go, this one is pretty impressive. There's plenty to read and do and some really cool effects, like the option to select sky themes including lightning and fireworks -- which can be changed from day to night with a flip of a virtual light switch.
The social networking aspect really is pretty safe. Users can add one another as friends, but interaction on the site is low; and to keep things clean, all status updates go through a language filter before being posted.