Zwinktopia Website Poster Image

Zwinktopia

(i)

 

Filters don't prevent exchange of personal info.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Allows teens to hone their friendship-making skills online -- but it's also a place where being rude is easy as there are no real-life, face-to-face consequences.

Violence

Violent content isn't allowed, but creative posters may be able to sneak something in.

Sex

Blatant sexual content isn't allowed, but creative posters can alter word spellings. There's a lot of "U R a hottie" talk.

Language

Profanity isn't allowed, but creative posters can alter word spellings to sneak in a "fu" or something much worse.

Consumerism

Teens are encouraged to earn ZBucks to go shopping for their avatars. Members can use real-world cash to pay for virtual goods.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although you have to be at least 13 to sign up on this popular social networking site, it's not appropriate for young teens. As they roam around the virtual world of Zwinktopia, kids can pick a place to go and chat with other avatars (or Zwinkies). Filters automatically replace bad words with "(bleep)," but there are ways around it -- typing "fu" instead of "f--k you" or "ssseeexy" instead of "sexy," for example. People can be harsh and say mean things or just simply walk away. They can also divulge personal information (age, location, MySpace page, e-mail address) in a matter of minutes. Teens are encouraged to earn ZBucks -- or use real-world cash -- to go shopping for their avatars. When they're not chatting, kids can also play harmless games that actually require a bit of concentration and hand-eye coordination in order to earn ZBucks -- a form of currency needed to buy your avatar new things.

What's it about?

ZWINKTOPIA.COM enables social networking in a virtual world. Once you download the free program, head on over to your Zwinky's (avatar) dressing room to outfit him/her with an emotion, personalized hair, makeup, outfit, body type, and accessories. Some things such as background scenes or cool haircuts are locked and can be accessed by earning ZBucks, Zwinktopia's online currency -- or by using real-world cash. Games are the easiest way to rack up ZBucks; each place you visit has a corresponding themed game. The main attraction of Zwinktopia is the chat feature. Just because you're online, though, it doesn't mean that talking to folks gets any easier; social interactions can be just as awkward in Zwinktopia as they sometimes are in the real world. Online chatting can also get very personal very quickly, with avatars asking other avatars for information or to come visit them in person. If you do trust another avatar, you can invite him/her to be your friend. But if you want to have a friend that isn't in your age group, you need to know the person's email address to send an invitation. Once the invitation is accepted, you can correspond via ZNotes -- online emails that are posted on your Profile Page and may be viewed by the public.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

If you're looking for a simple place to chat with newly found best friends, this site might just be the place for you -- as long as you know that this virtual world does come with some problems. It's too bad that there aren't more games and that most of the ones that do exist are quite silly and boring. And, you can go through your hard-earned cash in no time at the mall where you pop into stores that sell everything from surf wear to punk gear. The best part of the shopping experience is that you can try things on before buying them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about social networking safety. What kind of information should be off limits, and what's OK to tell people? How can you report someone who's being rude, abusive, or inappropriate?

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Zwinktopia was written by

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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; OK 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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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old August 23, 2010

Virus

Prompts kids to download toolbar, which is actually a virus.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 8 years old January 25, 2012

not for kids 9 and below

i went on zwinktopia and i got in a fight with a player she said a bad words so that means there are word kid can't hear and the sexul stuff is't that bad but some clothing is inapropret now the saftey is ok but you can chat on saftey were you are not alwowed to say bad but no one joins it . and last some messages kid can't see because some are sexul and violent and mean. so that means only for ages 13 and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written byDesmond the moonbear December 30, 2011

Zwinky is horrible

Okay, Zwinky gives your computer a virus. It comes with a Mywebsearch tool bar, when you download it. its pretty difficult to take off. And theres alot of sexual content, and not at all appropriate for kids under 15. Dont download it or else your computer may crash and thats a waste of $ -Desmond
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns

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