The Club

Common Sense Media says

Safe virtual playground for tween fans of Nick characters.

Age(i)

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

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message is upbeat and positive. Kids can participate in virtual world "clubs" that encourage public service, plus activities related to Nick TV shows that are kid friendly. Kids are encouraged to have fun on the site and act responsibly, though some kids push limits.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Some users report being asked dating-oriented questions by others who subvert the site's controls by using code words.

Language

You can't type in swear words -- and a "Dirty Phrase Checker" refuses combinations of otherwise clean words that are suggestive when paired together. But kids know how to get around these filters by substituting "clean" words for others.

Consumerism

NickPoints (gained by exploring the site and playing games) are used to buy virtual avatar outfits and other items on the site. There's lots of marketing for Nickelodeon shows; links to Nick.com, which has ads; and ads for games based on sugary cereals, department stores, and more. Sometimes these ads look very similar to other content on the site, so even though they're labeled, younger kids might unwittingly enter an advertising "club." However, the site offers a bumper page that lets kids know that they're leaving The Club if they click on any ads that take them to advertisers' websites.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Users are anonymous and thanks to strong controls, it would be very difficult to determine someone's identity.

Kids are asked to enter a parent's email address upon registration, though there's no approval needed to begin playing on the site.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Nickelodeon has built a safe virtual community for kids to hang out in. Kids are asked to submit a parent's email address to notify mom or dad that their child has registered for the site (however, no approval is necessary to enter the site). Users can choose to chat with other registered users or only talk to people on their buddy list. Kids can't type in swear words or other offensive language -- terms must be recognized by the site's Club dictionary to appear on screen. However, kids are notorious for finding ways to evade language filters, so parents should discuss chatting options with their kids and choose chat using pre-written messages selected from a pull-down menu if there are any concerns.

Parents say

Kids say

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THE CLUB, the Nickelodeon virtual community/playground (previously called Nicktropolis) that allows kids to interact with each other in real time, has all the trappings of kids' entertainment -- games, video, and cute customizable avatars. But the site was clearly designed to offer a safe place for kids to do what they love best: hang out and talk to each other. Posts are approved before going live, and chat conversations can only include pre-approved terms.

Naturally, the site has a commercial bent -- after all, one of its main goals is to promote Nick's popular shows. However, although there are lots of references to iCarly and SpongeBob, plus plugs for other companies (like Lucky Charms cereal), the site is noticeably devoid of much Nick-themed merchandise -- which gives kids the opportunity to focus on watching video clips, gabbing, and playing games.

Online interaction: Due to strong site controls, kids' interactions on the site are safe, though some kids find ways to push the limits of the safeguards.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about online safety -- and what's appropriate to share on a website. What kind of information should you always keep private? How can you apply the social skills you've learned in a virtual world to life offline? How are relationships created online different and similar to those created face-to-face?

  • How can kids deal with bullying or other unwanted behavior they encounter online?

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of The Club was written by

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.

Find out more

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, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 13 year old Written byBrinigbackNickt... December 7, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

old 78 year old people

My child liked Nicktropolis way better parents should contact nick and ask for it back
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 11 years old February 10, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Not good at all

Nicktropolis is a good website,When u first get on it...U can just believe its awesome.U do believe its awesome.Wrong.I love nicktropolis,but it is just dirty...Sex,Cusing...and they dont use the real words they use words like (socks for sex,pitch,duck,and so on.) U can report someone and 3 months later they are still on.The Moderaters are LAZY,MEAN,AND HELPESS! And Bullies,Its outragoues...this girl named Carrigan10 just killed me and i never wanted to go on ever again.My parents dont let me play anymore,and u no what I AGREE! Its terrible!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 14 years old Written byAwesome_O September 30, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Ads, bad shows, and bad people.

This section of Nickelodeon's site is off-limits for children. I went into their "Club Cinema" and there was an ad that played before I went in that was over a minute long! Talk about a time waster! Also, the show they played had strong sexual innuendo, along with people asking each other for dates or trying to slip swears through attacking the show screen. NOT for children.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism

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