Neopets

Common Sense Media says

Safe virtual pet site focuses on making money.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Promotes making and spending money. Some games involve gambling.

Violence & scariness

Battledome challenges are mostly sparring.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Some games feature products such as corporate sugary cereals, and there are a few banner ads. Promotes making and spending money.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

While the site does have an above-average safety tips page for young users, there are still privacy concerns. According to its privacy policy, Neopets collects quite a bit of information about its users, automatically
tracks their behavior, and shares some information with third parties.

Neopets asks kids to provide a parent's email address when they register; the parent then activates the account. The privacy policy offers parents instructions on how to request a review of the personally identifiable information collected about their child, and to request that the information be deleted and/or that no further information be collected or used.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this site begins with a kid adopting a virtual pet and collecting the local currency (Neopoints) to take care of him. The site promotes making and spending money -- from playing games to earn Neopoints to visiting the online story to buy real-life T-shirts, stickers, the Neopets magazine, and plush toys. Although the games cover everything from arcade action to anagrams, some feature gambling and betting. Kids can buy a Neopian lottery ticket and buy and sell virtual stocks. All bulletin boards are monitored and kids have to be 13 to post and are encouraged to be creative by submitting stories and drawings. The boards do have scammers wanting to hack into your account, so parents should talk to kids about never clicking on a personal URL in a board. There are a few banner ads, and Neopet owners can play games sponsored by corporations such as General Mills.

Parents say

What's it about?

In NEOPETS.COM's online world, Neopia, players explore a variety of landscapes, which offer games and curious shops where you can "purchase" a magical potion, a virtual snack, or a book to read to your pet. The more pets read, the smarter they become, which is important in the pet's ever-changing statistical summary of abilities, strength, health, and other attributes. Neopets require regular feeding. To purchase food -- or anything else -- you must gain Neopoints. To build up a bank of Neopoints, pet owners play games. You can also apply for an online "job," which usually involves a scavenger hunt to purchase more items from other players. Another way to scrape up points is to auction unnecessary items or place them in your online store. More mature players might invest in the Neopian stock market. Among Neopia's many participatory options are free clubs ("guilds") that have their own discussions, giveaways, and player hints. You can also write stories for the newsletter, submit drawings, work on your pet's Web page, or post on the NeoBoards.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids can get frustrated that they have to figure things out from other players. For example, you may learn on the boards that when the giant ice serpent sleeps the brave may sneak in and steal an item of his treasure. Also, there are players who scam other players out of their Neopoints and magical items, but a few third-party sites are combating this scourge.

On the positive side, messages posted on the boards are screened before they're posted, and those who break any rules will have their accounts frozen. Those younger than 13 aren't allowed to access the boards unless they've sent in parental permission.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about taking care of a pet. What's more important to give a pet -- a new coat or love and attention?

  • Parents can also talk to their kids about the dangers of obsessing about money and gambling. What does it mean to gamble?

Website details

Genre:Virtual Worlds
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Neopets 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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Teen, 14 years old Written by96grlpowrCE January 30, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Amazing, but addictive!

Neopets can be a great site depending on who you are. I started playing it when I was about eight years old and strangely learned many things like HTML (the coding used to create webpages) and marketing skills (helpful for users who want to make 'neopoints', the site's currency-- you can create your own shop and sell virtual items for neopoints). Sadly, as great as it is, it's also very addictive. I was neglecting my schoolwork for quite some time (especially when I got into middle school), and as my elementary school years progressed, I became quite overweight. Last year I kind of lost interest (as the website has lost its magic in some ways-- I think when Viacom bought it, that was to be expected) in the website, and basically quit overnight. I was beginning to DREAM about Neopets and obtaining rare items on the site. Crazy, right? Anyhow, I lost a lot of weight (I'm actually erring on the side of skinny now!!) and my grades are my #1 priority now that I've quit Neopets. Of course, once in a while I'll still log on, but it's not my world. As for safety, that can be good and bad-- Neopets has a good reporting system, and you can block users from contacting you. But some people like to get around the rules and post links to inappropriate websites, so kids have to be pretty dang careful. In all, Neopets is a great website, but it's what you make it-- if you choose to spend hours on it a day and not utilise its reporting system, it's a bad thing. But if you play it in moderation and stay safe, it can be one of the best sites you'll ever play on!
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Educational value
Safety and privacy concerns
Adult Written byRagadraft August 14, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Good for teens.

Neopets used to be a perfect website for kids to play on. But recently Neopets have begun plastering ads in a lot of places. There are all sorts of ads that can get in your way. Ads that make noise, rollover ads that you can accidently click, ect. There was even an ad that gave me a virus! Neopets has also introduced "Neocash" that you have to buy with real money, and having Neocash gives you a large advantage. This site is not for little kids, as they may accidentally click the ads, but older kids understand what's an ad and what's not. It's an okay website.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 14 years old Written byOGORMAN June 24, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

A fun and friendly website!! Check it out now!

I have been playing on this site since I was about 8 years old and still love it. It has taught me how to manage my money and to spend it wisely, allowing me to currently have millions in my bank account on the site. It will teach people to do the same thing. There is a lot of advertisements, and some games are sponsored by different companies like: Kraft and Capri Sun. I strongly recommend this site for its fun games and all around friendly atmosphere.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Educational value

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