Zeega

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Zeega Website Poster Image
Image-based multimedia mash-ups fun for creative kids.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn to tell a story using text, images, and short film clips. They can gain cultural understanding as they browse GIFs, some of which portray current events or popular media. Making a Zeega requires analysis of part-whole relationships; kids essentially can create a short film on any topic, adding tone with filters and text. A complex Zeega can be a visual poem, juxtaposing images and words. A less complex Zeega: a cat wearing a suit, playing "Fur Elise" on the piano. Get it? Zeega is a fun, if not-always-kid-appropriate, place for teens to experiment.

Positive Messages

Kids will explore feelings and opinions through what really boils down to digital art-making (making GIFs is art, right?)It's a great place for humor and expression.

Violence

You can use an image of Scarface blasting his machine gun as well as comparable violent images from virtually any popular film. 

Sex

A Tumblr search for "sex" doesn't bring up any results, but if you get creative and search for "model," plenty of sexual images pop up. 

Language

Users can place any text on top of images, but searches for swear words don't unearth anything. Offensive language found in probably 5 percent of Zeegas. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A Zeega under the #funny tag ends with the advice, "Smoke weed every day."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zeega is a website that creative teens can use to put together blips of multimedia content, expressing themselves through text and moving images. It's a lot of fun. Some Zeegas play like short art films; others are just plain silly. The website is best for mature teens interested in how to use media to send a message. Here's why: though the majority of Zeegas are cool and experimental, there's no way to filter out inappropriate content, and many of the pre-made GIFs are violent or sexual in nature. Also, a scrolling screen filled with herky-jerky GIFs can be overwhelming for younger kids, and the content may be above their heads or just plain inappropriate. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written bymom182 July 22, 2014

Inappropriate Platform

Clicking on the first few creations you can find insensitive stereotypes, inappropriate images, and offensive content. While it may be used for fun, there looks... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old October 7, 2013

What's it about?

Zeega is a website that lets you "mash up" various types of online content -- including images, GIFs, and music -- to create your own piece of original media. What's a GIF? Basically it's a file that can contain a very short animation or video, and GIFs are often used online to express a feeling visually (think the classic "dancing baby" or the currently popular Nyan Cat, a pixelated cat flying through the air on a Pop-Tart). You can drag and drop popular GIFs from the daily favorites menu on the left side of the screen, pull from other aggregators such as Gifhy or Tumblr, or upload your own. Then you can add text and color filters and adjust opacity to layer images. Click the red cloud to search Soundcloud for a song; they've got everything from David Bowie to Bing Crosby to the Notorious B.I.G. Each Zeega is saved in your profile and can be shared through social media.

Is it any good?

Adding layer upon layer of moving images can get pretty trippy, but it's really fun. Mix a '60s-era Twiggy eating an apple in front of a sad clown with a sleepy kitten, or overlay a Jack Kerouac quote on a Mos Def soundtrack, and you've just scratched the surface of options. You can also create more straightforward content -- think I Can Has Cheezburger-type memes. The comic book-style text bubbles help kids easily follow steps to complete a Zeega. More and more, people seem to be communicating online with short bursts of images and text to express a feeling or an idea. Tumblr can be a hotbed of racy content, and it's not filtered for kid-friendliness at all. 

The random bank of content found in Tumblr or Zeega's favorites lends itself well to kooky, fun creation but not so much to learning. Technically, it would be nice if you didn't have to play Zeegas frame by frame; an autoplay function would create a more seamless experience. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about multimedia art. How does adding music or film segments change the meaning of a piece of art?

  • It's not that hard to make GIFs from your own photos. Team up with your kid to crack up family members and friends by creating moving pictures of them.

Website details

For kids who love art

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