What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this site is a virtual pet site; a code found on the collar of a stuffed toy (about $5) is required to play. Kids choose locations in the "Zibbie Zone" to find different games and to collect Zibbie digital stamps as each puzzle or game is completed. Instructions for most games aren't available by voice over, i.e. reading is required. Unlike other virtual pet sites, your actual Zibbie is not seen on the screen or manipulated on the site in any way until all of the games have been completed at least once. There are no ads and no other products besides the Zibbie pets for sale as of yet. Kids can earn currency to buy things for their online pets.
What's it about?
Enter the world of ZIBBIES -- price of admission is a plush toy. Once kids register by typing in their email and a password, they're given an online name. The virtual outer space destination is complete with a café, post office, city hall, game tower, etc., where kids can solve puzzles and play games. When each game is completed and its accompanying digital stamp earned, kids have the privilege of officially adopting their Zibbie pet. They then have access to a stall in the Zibbie Zoo where they can see their pet, text message their pet (and get a reply), and earn ziggits and zlots (Zibbie currency) to buy things at Frizzmart for their Zibbie.
Is it any good?
The site looks more like a SIM game than a cartoon virtual world a la Webkinz.com, and is definitely different than other virtual pet sites. Kids must be readers in order to play around, since directions are only in writing. The games are just OK, but the fact that the stuffed toys are cheaper than most buy-a-toy-play-with-it-online may be reassuring to some parents.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what's the purpose of the Zibbie stuffed toy outside of this virtual world. Are there other sites that provide games that can be accessed for free? Is the stuffed toy appealing in itself or is it just a "fee" to pay in order to access the site?