Online gaming for your child can be somewhat of a concern with parents. Under 13? No Facebook then, so no Zyga games. Too old for NickJr.com? Parents and educators since 1999 have been turning to Whyville.net to ease the concern of online gaming for their kids.
Whyville’s creator, Dr. James Bower, CEO of Numedeon, Inc, sums up the site: 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.
Currently, the site has over 7 million kids playing in their own self-design virtual world. In Whyville, it’s citizens are the law as well. There are rules and they are enforced. Code of Conduct is monitored by everyone as well as the creator and his staff.
Examples of Whyville activities include science simulations in angular momentum, art activities like designing your own avatar and visiting the Getty Museum, writing for the town newspaper, playing multiplayer games such as checkers, and treasure hunts that take you around the globe.
As a parent or teacher, before signing the child up (or helping them sign up) you can take a tour around the site yourself. If you want, yes, you can even sign up and play along too. As Dr. James Bower says though “don’t try to act like a kid, the kids will find you out quickly and turn you in”.
I’m neither a parent, nor an educator. What I am is a concerned adult when it comes to providing safe environment for “our kids” online. Dr. Bower, himself is a parent and his daughter is a proud “Whyvillian” herself. It’s good to know that kids have a place to game that’s safe.
Best of all for parents and educators: Joining Whyville is free. The primary support for Whyville comes from its sponsors which happen to be some of the top child safety agencies and brands around the globe.