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SecretBuilders

Website review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
SecretBuilders Website Poster Image
Vast virtual world appeals to wide age range.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 34 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn by boosting their academic knowledge and improving their social skills. Activities throughtout the site weave in core content, logic, and computer literacy.  Freedom to choose what to do empowers kids and they're rewarded and challenged as they improve. SecretBuilders does take a breadth approach over a depth one, with rapid-fire factoids (in just minutes we meet four different historical figures). Still, the educational piece of this online world is fun, motivating, and refreshing. 

Positive Messages

Players are encouraged to become part of the Secret Builders community, by befriending others, chatting with people and submitting feedback about different activities and features. People can make suggestions for new features and read other people's ideas on forums. Players are encouraged to notify the moderators about anything they may think is inappropriate. The site also features games that enables kids to raise money for charity groups.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

Moderators screen all submissions for inappropriate language before it is posted. There are two modes for chatting; younger players use the restricted chat feature, which limits people to a list of words and phrases, while older kids can, with their parents' permission, chat freely, though the content is still screened for inappropriate words. Parents have control over players' buddy lists.

Consumerism

The site encourages people to earn money, called shills, by playing games, and then to spend it on various items. Some opportunities to earn money involve watching ads for products or shows for adults.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SecretBuilders is a virtual world that offers a huge variety of activities to satisfy its target age range of 5-14. The site has several educational features that introduce important historical characters and basic concepts in math, science, and the humanities as well as a strong social element. Players are encouraged to chat, message, and like other players or attend and hold parties at virtual homes and they can  comment on other user's written submissions to the site's online magazine. A paid membership with lots of benefits is encouraged, but kids can access all areas of SecretBuilders for free.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by[email protected] January 16, 2009

Inappropriate chatting

At first I was very pleased with this site. After using it for several days and really enjoying it, another playing sent a message to my daughter saying" h... Continue reading
Adult Written bynorcaldad July 7, 2009

safe, educational and fun! what more could a parent want?

this site is constantly playing with their filters and improving it. The previous reviewer mentioned the dating talk was passing the filters. not so anymore. I... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old February 16, 2013

I think its Fair

I think its fair , Alot of things you can do you can sleep (NOT IN THE SAME BED AS ANYBODY) Also if anybody says do you want to have .... You know they will b... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 1, 2011

Secretbuilders Not to cool

It not really a good website.You need to know about a million people just to have any fun!Plus some people use the swearing codes on here and are rude to others... Continue reading

What's it about?

SecretBuilders is an enormous online world for kids to explore. Players customize their own avatars and navigate through virtual bazaars, haunted houses, magical forests, laboratories, and many, many other locations, where they encounter other users, historical figures and plenty of entertaining activities. People can play games, go on quests and participate in other pursuits, usually earning \"shills,\" the coin of the realm. Everyone gets their own home, and can spend their shills to purchase pets, furniture, and other decorations. People can also befriend other users, chat with each other, and post messages on public forums. The site says it is aimed at kids ages 5 to 14, and offers a huge variety of ways for children all across this very broad spectrum to have fun.

Is it any good?

SecretBuilders is so engrossing, that users may not even realize that it also has a strong educational element. Many of the games introduce basic concepts in science, math, and the humanities, and players will encounter important people from history such as Albert Einstein and William Shakespeare. Children are strongly encouraged to help develop new content by submitting ideas and requests for new features and activities, which will likely create a stronger sense of community. There's a charitable bend, too; in the SecretBuilder School kids can earn money for charity by playing learning games (advertisers donate $0.002 per correct answer).

 

Online interaction: The developers have taken pains to make the site a safe place for young people, by ensuring that parents can keep tabs on their kids' activities and online friends, offering different chat modes for younger and older players, and by screening user-submitted information for inappropriate content.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about combining education and entertainment. Is it possible to make games both fun and educational? Is a game less fun if it also tries to teach something? Do the games on this site seem like school? Do they make learning fun? Do some seem more like lessons than others? How would you make learning into a game?

  • What's safe to share online? Interactions in online worlds can be rewarding and fun, but everyone should take a few basic precautions. Prepare yourself and your kids for interaction in an online world. Read our tips for kids in an online world.

  • Who is that orange monster with purple hair and combat boots? It might be your child's avatar. Common Sense Media's All About Avatars explains what you need to know about avatars and how to bring up the orange monster in the room.

Website details

For kids who love playing online

Our editors recommend

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