OurWorld

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
OurWorld Website Poster Image
Virtual world with games and some smart parental controls.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 51 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 226 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to build friendships within a virtual world as cool and trendy as the gang on their favorite tween drama or sitcom. Players create avatars that look great, dress well, and have fabulous condos. They can then choose between matching, strategy, and puzzle games and also complete activities -- like shopping -- to earn more swag. Most games are focused on fun, but some will reinforce skills like strategic thinking and puzzle solving. OurWorld is a fun, safe space for tweens and teens to develop online social skills.

Positive Messages

There's a heavy focus on buying stuff -- even just-for-fun virtual clothing and furniture -- on the site.

Violence

Some of the games, such as Warlords: Heroes and Zombeast Stampede, involve stabbing or shooting opponents to kill them.

Sex

Aside from a few message board posts about how to report/remove posts that mention sex and nudity, the boards seem pretty free of sexual content.

Language

The chat feature supposedly has two filters -- one for players 13 and older and a stricter one for players younger than 13 -- that will replace words it can't accept/doesn't recognize with another word. However, the general message board contains words like "s--t" and "f--k," and it's possible to enter words like "damn," even if you're registered as being younger than 13. (Words like "f--k," however, are changed into a nonsensical string of letters in chats.)

Consumerism

Some games are preceded by brief commercials for gum, AT&T, and other products (labeled as a "short message from our sponsor.") Users are also encouraged to gather two types of site currency: gems, which are frequently purchased via credit card, and coins, which can be earned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that OurWorld is a virtual world where kids can play chat and play games; a few of the games have violent content. For kids to chat, they need to first send a parent verification email through the site. If they're under 13, parents are told kids' communications will be filtered to ensure they're only using approved words and phrases. However, parents can change their child's settings to let them chat openly with other users; so if kids enter their email address for the verification, they can easily unlock any restrictions.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymantt July 26, 2009

Be Careful!

When I started hearing this website being spoken about a lot among the kids I'm surrounded with, like my younger cousins and little sister, I asked them wh... Continue reading
Adult Written byBaleyx September 10, 2011

It's the users not the game.

I've been playing this game for a long time, before gems came into play. I would say any website with chat, avatars or anything of that nature are never sa... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEvonyflyer November 8, 2010
I love this website it is wonderful and great! You can make lots of friends and make profiles, which is fun. This website doesn't allow you to share too mu... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHelenMagicMushroom September 4, 2011

Please, before you think of this review as another "stupid person who plays ourWorld" review- read it. It might just talk some sense into you.

Okay. Okay. For those of you who have played ourWorld and rated it one star, tell me why you came all this way to come a review on a reviewing website? Is it be... Continue reading

What's it about?

Teens have yet another place to wander and interact, play games, and shop for items to beautify their avatars with OURWORLD.COM -- a virtual world with better-than-average graphics. Avatars can zip between a coffeehouse, dance club, and theater (among other locations), and wave, dance, and chat with each other via thought bubbles. For the more action-oriented, the site offers dozens of games which range from those based on logic (Jewel Quest involves lining up symbols) to old-fashioned, arcade-like ones (Condor Cowboys knocks bandits off giant birds). Kids can pick their difficulty level; playing any of the games earns you \"flow,\" which is OurWorld.com's \"energy.\" Flow can be used to buy hairstyles and clothes -- and can be used to spin a prize wheel that can generate \"coins,\" the site's currency, which is also used to buy things. Paid memberships ($6 a month or $50 a year) get you access to even more stuff.

Is it any good?

Parents have some control over what their kids can do on the OURWORLD site: They can decide whether kids can talk with strangers, friends, or not chat at all when they sign up, and can restrict kids from making any changes to their account settings. A language filter also helps prevent swears from being used in chats. However, the site is definitely geared toward kids who are tweens or older; it can be a little tricky to navigate around, and although many of the 40 or so puzzle, matching, and other games are tame, some action games involve shooting and killing that could be too violent for younger users.

OurWorld should provide some generally safeguarded fun as you make your avatar dance and travel around the virtual world. However, it's unclear if kids will log on for long without wanting to buy one of the paid subscriptions ($5.99-$10 per month or $49.99 a year) to help them rise through the site levels faster and access exclusive areas. There's also a push to purchase gems, one of the two forms of site currency, to get special virtual accessories -- but many kids will still find fun things to do on the site for free.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why it can be risky to chat openly online with strangers. Why is it safer to have pre-scripted responses, or to have some words blocked?

  • Families can also talk about what type of information is safe to share with others online. Why should you never give out any information that's considered personal, like the town that you live in?

  • How should you handle an unwelcome invite to chat or an inappropriate comment from another user?

Website details

For kids who love hanging out online

Our editors recommend

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