Social Networking for Kids

The adults that haven’t picked up on Second Life may now be invading the kids online virtual world, Webkinz.

I just learned of this new hit from a friend of mine who saw patrons of all sizes carrying small stuffed animals in the mall. The way it works is you purchase a Webkinz stuffed animal, then go online to adopt your new pet. Upon adoption, you are given a room, food, and KinzCash to be spent on more food, adornments for your room, or even more rooms. Your goal is to keep you pet happy, healthy, and fed.

In Webkinz you can play games at the arcade (and earn more KinzCash), speak to your pet through a menu of phrases, or interact with other Webkinz. It’s social networking for a littler crowd, except, like Beanie Babies and Harry Potter, the adults are taking this fad over. With parental monitoring, however, this could be a fun way for kids to interact with a computer.

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