Webosaurs Reviews – Virtual Worlds for Kids

Webosaurs is a social networking massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was released in October 2009 by Reel FX Entertainment. It started as a free beta test site until all programming issues were fixed. The site is aimed at children from 5 to 12 years old. Dinosaurs have always been popular with children. With the rise in popularity of virtual worlds, it was only a matter of time before a company seized on the theme of dinosaurs and created a virtual world around them. The dinosaurs that children choose as their avatars are cartoon dinosaurs that roam an island landscape.

Children can explore the website for free; however, this limits the activity they can have. Paid memberships start at $5.94 per month. A 6 month membership is $29.94 and a 12 month membership is $49.94. A paid membership allows players to enjoy all the features in the world, including games, activities, adventures, and chat. Parents should know that in order for the game to work properly, several technical requirements must be met. Computer must have Adobe Flash Player 10; Internet Explorer 7; 1GB of RAM; and a connection speed of at least 512Kbps.

Characteristic

Once kids become members of Webosaurs, they choose a dinosaur avatar to be their online persona. Players then choose a home for their dinosaur (known as a cave) and can modify it as they see fit. Members can also adopt or purchase virtual pets. Pets that are not taken care of do not die, they escape. Webosaurs’ currency is simply called ‘coins’. Players earn this currency by successfully playing online games and answering quizzes. ‘Coins’ buy everything from cave items, clothing, food, armor, and pet supplies. Armor is the most sought after item on Webosaurs because it protects the avatars when they engage in battle. The different levels of armor must be purchased in this sequence: Leather, Wood, Bone, Steel, Molten, and Gold. Dinosaurs need armor because most games are action oriented. A dinosaur is better protected to win a game if it has the most advanced armor. Members can also chat about their dinosaurs with other players in a chat room.

What is good

Webosaurs graphics are very well done. When animating or creating dinosaurs, the tendency is to make them look too cute or too scary. The website has found a good balance between the two extremes. Webosaurs will primarily appeal to children ages 8-12. The website knows who its audience is and has created a virtual world that surrounds that demographic. There are no adult themes in the virtual world or on the website. No drinking, smoking, drug use, sex or offensive language. Moderators monitoring chat rooms and games are plentiful. If anything inappropriate is said or done, the offending player is muted or ultimately banned.

Webosaurs has an interesting educational component. On the home page, members can watch short animal and nature videos called Webosaurs Shorts hosted by Nigel Marven, a wildlife expert and host of the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Park. The website didn’t have to do this, so they’re trying to incorporate some sort of educational component into a website focused primarily on gaming.

What is bad

Violence can be a problem for some parents. Although there is no bloodshed or gore, parents should know that Webosaurs is an action-oriented online game where players take the form of aggressive dinosaurs. Recently, the website has undergone an update that includes the addition of an antagonist named Spike who threatens to take over the island. Also, there are new monster battle games where players fight against an evil monster named Okvango. Players use weapons to defeat these monsters. It would seem that as Webosaurs evolve, they become more aggressive, with more threatening antagonists. These recent changes may worry parents.

online safety

Although the biggest assets of the website are the online games, like any other virtual world, there is a chat room for the players to socialize. There are two chat modes: safe chat (child clicks on a predetermined chat message) and open chat (child writes their own message which is moderated). Kids should feel safe and comfortable using Webosaurs because moderators are always live in chat and in games. This is an important aspect of online security that Webosaurs excel at and other virtual worlds should embrace.

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