Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Media-Freaks dot com, a TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Media-Freaks brings us the virtual world of Wiglington & Wenks. From the W&W web site, "The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World is an exciting new online virtual world for kids where players can travel to places around the world, through time and space, meet famous historical people, play fun enriching games, make new friends, own exotic islands, build culture-inspired houses, wear all kinds of cool clothing and costumes, explore secret locations, solve ancient mysteries and become a legendary traveller! "

My children like to play games on web sites that offer a vitural world. Their interest in these sites waxes and wanes, and right now, my children are not as interested in them as they have been. In the past, we've purchased access by buying a stuffed animal toy for more than one site, and we've purchased access with a credit card type piece of plastic that contains a code for a virtual world. My homeschooler doesn't understand all of it, but she likes to play.

I asked my 10 year old son, the biggest gamer of my children, to play this one and tell me about it.

Here's what he reports:

The site I reviewed was Wiglington and Wenks.

All the games Wiglington and Wenks have are fun, from scooping ice cream, to playing a simple game of pool. There is a free section and a members section. Some of the games for members and non-members were fun; some were not. You help famous people remember stuff about themselves. Player earn virtual money ("Rollars") toward buying virtual stuff. The free section offer more than the free sections of other virtual world game web sites that I have played.

The big event that could be considered a “challenge” is the passport. You need to get the passport in order to travel from place to place. You really need to read the Wiglington and Wenks blog to learn about the passport answers.

Members get access to more everything (games, rooms, pets, etc) than non-members. The members get to go into other rooms, that could be considered better because members have a wider selection of clothes, pets, and more!

The main control in the games is the mouse. You click where you want to move. In games, the instructions explain the controls.

Non-Members don’t get the wide selection that members get, but they do get a good selection. Unlike other kid websites, here you can buy islands, clothes, pets, and more while being a Non-Member, while other websites only let you by flags, or backgrounds.

I (Mom) had a lot of trouble maneuvering the character - I had no idea what to do. My son, however, whizzed right through it.

He tells me he did not learn anything about geography or history. I'm not sure if that is an accurate statement. :)

Pricing of the member area is comparable to other virtual worlds - there are several options available, from $5.99 a month to $59.99 a year.

We are trying to limit computer and video game time here - I'm not exactly thrilled to learn of yet another virtual world online to draw us away from real life.

I am always concerned about who my children are playing with in games like these online. There is no way to know if the other folks in the game are children or adults, and some simple internet searching is quick to reveal that W&W is popular among teens and adults.

My children have encountered mean kids (we assume they're kids) in these types of games, with occasional foul language. Parents and players have the opportunity to report those who bully and use inappropriate language. There are a number of safety features embedded within W&W.

I recommend parents play, too, and keep an eye on interaction in any virtual world. Knowing what characters are involved, both real (fellow players) and virtual, is important.

Some Crewmates encountered more foul language than we did ("idiot" was the worst we encountered). To read my Crewmates' reviews about Wigglington & Winks, go here.

1 comment:

Aldric Chang said...

Hello Penny,

Many thanks for taking the time to do this review. My name is Aldric - the Deputy CEO and Chief Executive Producer of the Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World.

You might be pleased to hear that we will soon develop 3 levels of chat -

1. no chat - totally no chat allowed
2. safe chat - only prefabricated chatlines will be allowed to be used and seen
3. moderated free chat - what we have now

In fact, we have already developed the safe chat system and it is currently in Beta testing phase -

We are always working hard to improve the safety features of our virtual world as we understand how important it is to keep our kids safe :) I have a 9 year old online by the way.

Kind regards,

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