McWorld

Common Sense Media says

Well-done virtual world peppered with McDonald's mentions.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Train a Pup game can teach kids responsibility; the site videos also feature images of healthy foods in a subtle nod to nutritious eating. However, when some pages are loading, the word "Happiness" is shown beneath a Happy Meal box; some families may find associating happiness with fast food to be a negative message.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Users can chat on the site but must choose from a list of predetermined sayings like "I feel...smart!"

Consumerism

In addition to the obvious Happy Meal mentions, the site features frequent images of Happy Meal promotional characters from movies and TV shows.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The site's "tips for maximum fun" guidelines suggest you always make sure a parent knows you're online and encourage users never to share a screen name or password with anyone but their parent. Kids can play on the site without registering, but in order to save details such as their avatar, registration is necessary. Real names are discouraged, and email addresses are not collected.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that McWorld is McDonald's virtual world, and as such, the site contains marketing for the fast food chain. The consumerism is slightly more subtle than on HappyMeal.com but still present.  Kids can play games, create a video, and partake in other activities without registering. However, to enter the mCode from a Happy Meal, which provides additional avatar goods and other items, they'll need to sign up by entering a username and password.

Parents say

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Kids say

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids will find plenty to see and do in McDonald's virtual MCWORLD. They're able to create an avatar -- with or without registering -- and play games, watch videos, or just wander around. The site is a visually impressive world: In the haunted house, green ghosts emerge from a doorway, and a skate park features fun graffiti-like graphics. McWorld is also a pretty safe destination: Kids don't have to enter much personal information to register, and they can't key in their own chat conversations -- a list of sayings is provided for them.

That said, while the site doesn't feature as many plugs as one of the eatery's other sites, Happymeal.com, it's hard to forget that McWorld was created to promote McDonald's. Happy Meal characters (and boxes) pop up throughout the site, and kids are told that Happy Meal codes will unlock exclusive avatar accessories and other items. Parents who are uncomfortable with any kind of product-centric focus may want their kids to limit their visit to the McWorld -- and spend more time playing in the real one.

Online interaction: Kids can chat with other users using safe, pre-scripted terms. The results from some site activities, such as the create-your-own-music-video option, also can be emailed to up to four friends.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether it's possible to eat a healthy, balanced diet -- fruits, vegetables, protein, and more -- and still have foods such as burgers and fries. And is it possible to go to a fast food restaurant and avoid eating too much unhealthy stuff, like fried food and tons of sugar?

  • If you're playing games on a site that's made by a company, like McDonald's, does it make you want to buy the things the company sells? How does advertising influence you?  Is McWorld an advertisement disguised as games, and if so, is this a sneaky way to advertise to kids?

  • Virtual worlds often offer a ton of activities and places to visit -- and you can easily end up spending a lot of time checking them out. How much time is too much time to spend on the Internet? How can you balance the time you spend online with the time you spend outside?

Website details

Genre:Virtual Worlds
Pricing structure:Free

This review of McWorld 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.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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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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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old November 6, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

JUST DONT GO TO MCDONALDS!!!

Telling kids eat grease salt and butter! yum! yeah everything on there menu including the salad has sugar in it. yeah great restruant...they dont even buy meat from america anymor i mean come on!!!! just watch Supersize me some time, youll never eat there again...well, unless you want your child born with birth defects....
Kid, 9 years old August 3, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Bad

Lame and too much happy mill stuff
Teen, 14 years old Written byrebma97 April 24, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Fine for kids

I went on here a while ago. It's okay, but in order to save your progress, you must have a code, which is provided with your McDonald's HappyMeal box/bag. It's pretty safe; chat is pre-scriped so you can't go around cursing or anything. The only issue you might have is consummurism, which I would have expected from McDonalds. But it's safe for kids.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism

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