There are so many virtual worlds for young people and it is hard to know which world and game is for each age group. Here we have tried to split the virtual worlds into categories with descriptions for you.
Best Virtual Worlds for Kids:
1. Neopets: This is a very popular virtual world for kids and some tweens.
2. Lulilab: This used to be called Playdo, Lulilab lets players travel, chat and build their own worlds. Lulilab has won some awards for its graphics.
3. Nicktropolis: Nicktropolis boasts over 8.6 million citizens, who actively surf, skateboard, snowboard, play games, create avatars and meet friends. It’s sponsored by Nickelodeon, so you know it’s kid friendly.
4. Club Penguin This is a virtual world for kids with penguin avatars where they can chat, play games and hang out. Club Penguin seems to be very addictive for those who play. I like this virtual world, but doesn’t seem to stick for those about 11.
5. Build-a-Bearville I might be a bit biased because I LOVE Build-a-Bear and this is the perfect continuation of the Build-a-Bear workshops into the online world.
Best Virtual Worlds for Tweens:
6. Toon Town Toon Town USA is a website for kids from the Walt Disney Company. It uses familiar characters from Disney to interact with users. I think this is great because it lets kids do more with Disney Characters than just watch them on TV or see them at Disneyland.
7. Wizard 101 If your kids love Harry Potter, they are going to love this. I like that this virtual world is more than just “chat and play games” it has a cool theme and interesting layout.
8. BarbieGirls.com This is Mattel’s site for girls and their online Barbies. Although I loved Barbie, I am not sure how I feel about the image it portrays to young girls about how they should look. Also, I feel like half of the fun of barbie is braiding her hair…in real life, not on the game. Cool back-up none-the-less.
9. Secret Builders I like that this site allows kids to upload their own works of art so they are not jsut interacting, but creating. I also think the integration of historical figures and lessons is quite clever.
10. The Sims 2: The Sims 2 is a very popular and addicting virtual world. It has different societies, games and opportunities to meet friends and experimenting with future dreams.
Best Virtual Worlds for Teens:
11. Teen Second Life This website is much, much edgier than some of the other cartoony sites. I do not know many teens on Teen Second Life, but it is much more like a grown-up playground with more controls than open Second Life.
12. Webkinz World A little less Disney polished than Club Penguin, but I like that it seems to grow and change quicker and stay up with what kids want who are in their playing. A bit older than Club Penguin crowd as well.
13. Super Secret “This is a supercool and beautifully designed new online social game for kids who are ready for more than Club Penguin but who are too young for mySpace. The game transports kids into a secret world where they can chat with friends, play mini-games, complete urgent quests – and grow up virtually from 10 to 18 as they collect points.” I like that this feels a bit older for the tween crowd. It’s also not too expensive at only $30 a year.
14. Whyville “Whyville’s millions of registered “citizens” come from all over to learn, create, and have fun together. Whyville is their world. Whyville has places to go, things to do, and of course, people to see. Whyville has its own newspaper, its own Senators, its own beach, museum, City Hall and town square, its own suburbia, and even its own economy – citizens earn “clams” by playing educational games.”
15. World of Warcraft: This can definitely take over your world. World of Warcraft is a great an technical game for serious gamers.
What are some of your favorites? Be sure to add your favorite virtual worlds in the comments!