vSide

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
vSide Website Poster Image
Sleek but shallow virtual world; could be safer.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There's a lot of focus on "partying" and buying clothes. Most of the content is based around shopping, clubbing, and looking cool. Users in the virtual world are suspended or banned for bad behavior, but the forums and profiles don't have the same standards.

Violence
Sex

Many female avatars wear very skimpy clothes.

Language

The virtual world has a chat filter, and users can be booted for excessive profanity. However, many users curse in their profiles and on forums.

Consumerism

Product ads appear throughout the virtual world, mostly for clothes. Users can buy virtual things by purchasing "vbucks" with a credit card. There's advertising integrated into content -- you can visit Tyra Banks' studio or the Pussycat Dolls' apartment, among others.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are clubs with bars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this site requires users to download software to participate in its virtual world. The chat has a profanity filter, and users who curse excessively, bother other users, or violate other terms of service can be suspended or banned; this is enforced. However, the site also has a browser-based social networking feature that has fewer restrictions -- there's cursing and rude behavior in profiles and forums, and forums encourage users to upload real photos of themselves. Users can by virtual things with virtual points or by purchasing "vbucks" with a credit card. The virtual world has a ton of embedded advertising, as well as several clubs with bars. (The terms note that users should be 13 or older.)

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymaisye February 18, 2009

You didn't give vSide enough time to give an accurate rating...

I understand parts of your rating... yes vSiders can be mouthy and have huge attitudes... They don't see it because they're not in vSide as noobs anym... Continue reading
Parent of a 17 year old Written bymamba August 14, 2009

Better be over 21...and read between the lines

I have had many accounts on vside. Some of the "commenters" here are some of the biggest troublemakers I have ever seen. I abandoned the vside site wi... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byxBeauty July 5, 2010

I Totally Disagree....

apparently all u did was look at the places why dnt u ask the users what they thought vSide is the best virtual world that i have ever came across its easy to u... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byPinkFadedJeans April 10, 2009

vSide

In my opinion, vSide is a great website for teenagers. The graphics are great, the mods are very helpful, and they do not tolerate any abuse. Getting vPoints a... Continue reading

What's it about?

From the developers of VLES comes VSIDE.COM, a virtual world that teens access through downloadable software. Users can explore three virtual cities that feature clubs and stores, special event spaces (like the Tyra Banks Studio or the Pussycat Dolls' loft), and apartments, which vSide residents can "pimp" -- as the site puts it -- to their liking, using either vpoints (earned through interactivity) or vbucks (purchased with real money). There's also a browser-based component of user profiles and forums.

Is it any good?

Like VLES, vSide suffers from a bit of an attitude problem. Even the bots (planted characters) can get mouthy -- one of them tells you right off the bat that your look is a little "tired" and you should buy some new clothes. Accordingly, most of the content is based around shopping, clubbing, and looking cool. Teens who are looking for "a place to party online" may enjoy hanging out with their friends in this sleekly designed environment, but others may prefer a virtual world with a bit more substance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about safety with social networking sites. How do you know if you can trust someone online? What are the potential pitfalls of sharing personal information online? What kind of information and images are off limits? Families can also talk about virtual communities and identity. What appeals to teens about using an avatar rather than a true identity? What does an avatar tell you about the real person behind it? What kind of identity does this site seem to think is cool?

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