ZwinkyCuties

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
ZwinkyCuties Website Poster Image

Product no longer available

Girl-centric virtual world is safe, fun, shallow.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 44 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There's a lot of focus on fashion and beauty, and the avatars could use more diversity in ethnicity and body type. Kids could feel rejected if their requests to chat or become friends are ignored. Some of the chat phrases -- like "I'm going to ignore you" or "Leave me alone" -- could hurt kids' feelings.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

Kids can only use pre-scripted chat phrases like "I love to shop" or "What is your favorite animal?"

Consumerism

A "Jet Setter" (premium) membership costs up to $5.95 per month (less if users are signing up for six months or a year). Kids are frequently prompted to upgrade their membership. There's also a significant focus on fashion and shopping.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this kid-friendly virtual world is a spin-off of teen-targeted site Zwinktopia.com. It costs up to $5.95 per month for a premium ("Jet Setter") membership; kids who have a free account are frequently prompted to upgrade. Parents must activate a child's account and can restrict and permit access as needed. Only safe chat is available, so there's no risk of kids sharing personal information (or using profanity). The site offers comprehensive safety tips for both parents and kids, and users can choose privacy settings for their rooms. Kids could feel rejected if other users ignore their requests to be friends or to chat. Phrases meant to fend off pesky users -- such as "I'm going to ignore you" -- could be used in a mean-spirited way.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybianca7788 May 16, 2011

not good

Shallow, almost useless without a Jetsetter membership. People include innapropriate things in their usernames.
Parent of a 16 year old Written byashley 365 May 14, 2011
Kid, 9 years old July 21, 2013

it is good in every way

this site is perfect in every way it is not at all as inaproprete as the real zwinky and is is fun to what more could u ask for :)
Kid, 8 years old January 29, 2013

Boring unless Jet Setter!

The site is really boring unless you are a jet setter, but i like the site.

What's it about?

Popular teen site Zwinktopia.com now has a little sister: the pink and purple virtual world ZWINKYCUTIES.COM, which was specifically designed for a younger audience. Users can create an avatar, decorate their room, explore locations like the mall and the movie theater, and have conversations with other cuties using pre-scripted chat phrases. Playing games like "Pie Oh My" or "Preps vs. Goths" earns you ZBucks, which paid "Jet Setter" members can trade in for clothes, furniture, and other items. Jet Setters also have access to a wider selection of games, hangouts, and virtual pets (regular users can only get a goldfish).

Is it any good?

ZwinkyCuties.com scores points for being easy to use -- it starts off with a helpful tutorial of its features and provides clear instructions. The games are fun and nicely animated, especially the Snood-like "Best in Show" and the simple yet addictive "Ping Pong Mania." Despite the site's over-the-top girliness, the animation can be adorable -- like the hopping bunny slippers at the pet store or the cat that plays with a ball of string.

On the downside, parents may not be thrilled by the site's focus on fashion, shopping, and cuteness as the defining factors of girlhood. (P.S.: There are boys on the site, but they're vastly outnumbered by girls.)

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online safety and setting computer time limits. Why is it important to spend time away from the computer? Families can also discuss how kids can apply the social skills learned in virtual worlds to life offline. How would you approach a new friend? What would you do if someone was bothering you?

Website details

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