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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that if kids are under 13, they need a parent's permission to register; but all kids need to do is enter an email address and check a box to indicate that a parent says it's OK. If you're involved with the registration, you'll be able to make your child's virtual room private and restrict who can see when your child is online.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Users can visit WeeWorld for free -- or pay for a VIP subscription with no banner ads. Gold points, used to buy avatar and other gear, can be purchased via credit card or phone or earned by completing site activities. Kids can also chat, play shooting and other games, post to more than 15 forums, and learn about money management by running a business or working for other users. To encourage participation, WeeWorld offers virtual trophies; certain active users are chosen to be WeeWorld ambassadors and are rewarded with a special icon.
Is it any good?
Kids can create an avatar, chat, and play games in WEEWORLD, where most of the fun revolves around socializing with other users. Luckily, the chat filters are fairly solid, and messages with references to phone numbers, e-mail addresses, or swears get blocked. However, if kids say they're over 13 when they register, they'll be able to access the site's message boards, covering topics from celebrities to causes and politics. Most forums are clean, but a few contain some iffy references--and one is dedicated to introducing users 25 and up. The most educational activities involve math-related games and challenges to run a business or accept work from other users, which can help teach kids how to manage time and money. However, to move to another level (and do a different kind of job), you may need to complete the same type of task multiple times--which can get a little boring.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what kind of information you should never share when chatting with someone you don't know -- even if they can't see your real name. What things might reveal where you live or other personal information? How can you chat with other users without getting personal?
If someone you meet online wants to be your friend, should you say yes? Or should you only friend people online whom you already know?
What if someone in a chat room is saying things that make you uncomfortable? Should you tell them to stop, shut off your computer, or go tell a parent?