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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a safe place where kids can explore a virtual world as they learn a little bit about the responsibilities of caring for a pet. Parents can also adjust any communication settings for kids under 13. A No Text option is also available, allowing parents to completely block any communications from other members. In any communications, kids are identified by their e-Pet's name, not their own, and no personal information is displayed.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
After buying a MyePets stuffed animal and registering it (which requires adult permission) on the site using the toy's secret code, kids can interact with their e-Pet -- an adorable animated representation of the stuffed animal they purchased -- and explore the critter's virtual world. Along with a pet salon, a pet diner, and a flea market, there's also an arcade featuring kid-friendly games; playing games allows pet owners to accumulate credits that are used to \"purchase\" meals or other items for the pet or stuff for their house. Members can chat with their e-Pet via a set of predefined questions, which the pet will answer, helping the owner determine the animal's needs. There's also a Safe Chat area where members can communicate with each other, and a post office where members can send e-cards.
Is it any good?
Cute and colorful, the virtual world of MyePets.com is a great way to introduce kids to the joys of pet ownership. While not exactly educational, this environment is tons of fun for grade-schoolers and relatively harmless. And if your kid has been begging you for a real pet, the site may even provide a good test run to see whether he or she is ready for the responsibilities.
Online interaction: The site offers a Safe Chat environment where members can communicate with other e-Pet owners; it includes a "bad word filter" and requires parental approval. Messages can be composed using only "canned" text (kids choose pieces of predefined text). Kids can flag other members for inappropriate behavior.
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