Space Heroes Universe

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Safe virtual world with fun, space-age games.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

During registration, kids have to agree to the rules of play, which include: "no bullying no cheating, be nice, have fun."

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

A filter prevents words like "hell" and "jerk" from appearing.

Consumerism

Premium memberships, which get you access to more worlds and special party events, range from $6 a month to $54 a year.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids don't need to submit their name or email during registration; they just need to pick a username and avatar name and are asked to submit a parent's email address. At registration kids are reminded not to share personal information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Space Heroes Universe is a virtual world with space-themed games and activities as well as an optional social component. If parents are concerned about kids chatting online, it's important to be involved when kids register to help them choose from the two chat options. "Menu chat" only lets kids communicate using pre-determined greetings; "filtered safe chat" lets kids type in their own chat comments, which are moderated 24/7 and run through a word filter to remove bad language, phone numbers, and other personal information.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • presenting to others

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression
  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • presenting to others

Science

  • astronomy

Skills

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression
  • conveying messages effectively

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Kids can learn communication skills by chatting with other users and indulge their scientific curiosity with some of the printable activities. The space-themed site doesn't really have a strong focus on school subjects like math, but it gives kids a chance to practice reading skills and team work. Some activities, such as how to grow crystals at home, center on DIY science. Space Heroes Universe is a fun place where kids get a little practice with reading comprehension and teamwork skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

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What's it about?

SPACE HEROES UNIVERSE offers games and activities that stress reaching goals -- for example, kids need to complete certain tasks before graduating from the site's space academy. Kids can customize the avatar they name when registering. The site also offers a significant social aspect. As users walk around the sizeable virtual world, they're able to chat with other users by either keying in words or choosing from a list of pre-selected terms.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Space Heroes Universe virtual world may be a bit confusing for younger kids at first -- there are lots of places to go, and finding the activities in each section isn't always easy. However, once kids find them, the instructions are fairly clear. To graduate from the site's space academy and zoom off into space, kids are encouraged to reach certain goals. They get to shoot at asteroids and other objects in the visually impressive, easy to navigate, games. The site also contains some additional activities, like a printable PDF with science experiment instructions on growing crystals at home. Parents can pick whether kids have open (albeit filtered) chat capabilities or can only use pre-written phrases like "Howdy."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how to stay safe online. Why would it help to use the pre-written expressions for chatting with users you don't know?

  • Even though the site has a language filter, people can sometimes slip bad words -- or other information -- through when chatting. What kinds of things should you look out for? What kinds of information should you not reveal to people you don't know?

  • How much time should you spend playing in virtual worlds instead of the real one? It's easy to get sucked into sites that offer a lot of games and activities. Discuss finding balance by setting a daily or weekly limit to make sure kids get some outdoors time, too.

Website details

Genre:Virtual Worlds
Topics:Space and aliens
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Space Heroes Universe was written by

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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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