There

Common Sense Media says

3-D virtual world can be creative, inappropriate.

Age(i)

2
3
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5
6
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8
9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Can be very addictive and blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Avatars can be mean or ignore each other, but they can also be really friendly and perfectly acceptable.

Violence

None was observed, but anything goes in virtual worlds where the avatars can say what they want and go where they want. Online verbal "fights" can happen.

Sex

Avatars can kiss, flirt, dress provocatively, use sexual language, and customize body types -- big boobs included. They can also take conversations somewhat "offline" by chatting one-on-one in private.

Language

The site describes its language as "PG-13" but members can disable their filter and chat freely and use words that might be offensive.

Consumerism

Multiple sponsorship programs; companies (like Coke and CosmosGirl!) can advertise by hosting a special world, chat room, and events or run promos. Members use real dollars to buy "Therebucks" -- There.com's online currency (1,800T = US $1). Premium membership costs around $10.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some avatars are seen drinking a firey concoction.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that their teens should use caution when hanging out in this free 3-D virtual world. It can be a fun and imaginative place to chat and play, but it can also be addictive, socially stifling, and be a place where kids do, say, or wear things they wouldn't in real life. Premium membership costs around $10 and added features like clothes, home furnishings, and cars cost Therebucks, which are purchased with a credit card or Paypal. Teens may be tempted to spend frequently as there are many things to buy that enhance the online experience. It's also easy to be sucked into spending a ton of time in this world.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

THERE.COM combines all the popular teenage hobbies -- chatting, video gaming, and shopping -- set it in a visually spectacular (if not slow) fantasy world. Visitors are able to create their own avatar, a realistic-looking persona that's fully customizable. (Want a bigger bust or a smaller butt?) They then can travel through various settings (from the moon to an exotic jungle retreat), chat with other avatars, and play games. Homes can be fully furnished and there's usually always a party going on somewhere around the sight. Avatars talk to one another through comic-book style bubbles and can even do actions like wink, hug, or kiss.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although much of the site is pure fun, there are some questionable aspects. Chatting has guidelines in place that prohibit explicit language, but take away the filter, and an avatar is free to swear up a storm. Sharing of personal info, although advised against, isn't full proof -- and avatars often link to their personal pages in their profiles. Many teen-targeted companies sponsor various events and rooms; it's not blatant advertising and may be easier to influence teens. Also, because everything looks so real, teens might have a tough time separating virtual reality from the real world. And with the many layers to the site, it can easily become a time-consuming pastime. Users can go from just chatting to buying and renting virtual property, selling items, and hosting events. It's a fantasy world almost-come-to-life, but just as in the real world, there are precautions that need to be taken.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why a virtual reality site appeals to teens? How do people act differently in a chat room versus real life? Why do we need to virtually experience doing something that could be done in real life? Is it easier to make friends as an avatar rather than as yourself? Also, families can discuss what information is OK to give to other people online? What should never be shared?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of There 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.

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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, okay 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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Adult Written byBobbi62 May 4, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

An adult perspective

There.com is billed as a site for teens, but there are plenty of adults who spend time in here. It's a large enough world, with enough different places waiting to be colonised, that adults who want to create a calm oasis in which to chill and caht can freely do so away from the teenage party areas. For me it's a way to relax away from the pressures of real life, and I've made virtual friends with people from all round the world. Great. Of course, escapism has other interesting sides. I can be whoever and (more-or-less) whatever I want in the There.com world. So I can have a wonderful waterside home with fields and mountains out the back; and the cost of renting the space and buying the goods is likely to feel modest to a middle-aged person. On the other hand - I could pretend to be a teenager (which I'm definielt not) - and so the usual precautions about on-line safety that you'd apply to MSN or Bebe are still important.
Teen, 13 years old Written bypascal April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

u need real money for virtual items

game revolves around money-u buy it and how rich you are in the game
Parent of a 6 and 15 year old Written byDOLLY18 February 11, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
dont work
What other families should know
Great messages

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