Why should anyone play on Virtual Worlds?
(Although my comments may relate to most Virtual Worlds, I highly recommend Tinkatolli.com and Minimonos.com as THE best choices for ALL the benefits I have described)
1. The first and most important reason is the word “play”!
There are so many difficult and often boring things we need to do in life, many people, even kids, have forgotten how to relax and just have FUN!!
Everyone needs down time. A time to rest and relax. People who are stressed and tired are not productive, and they make mistakes.
We all need to make the commitment to take time for FUN so we can be our best!
2. A sense of community and learning to cooperate with other people for common goals.
We cannot always be with our friends. Sometimes the weather will not let us outside or we are sick at home. Virtual Worlds are available 24/7 to people from all over the world.
Someday in the future, I imagine world leaders coming together for important issues affecting the whole planet, and discovering they have mutual experiences from the VWs they played on as children. Remembering those times may provide them a base to work together.
Although many activities are for personal and individual achievements, minimonos gives their users wonderful opportunities to work together. Pirates versus Ninjas requires everyone on a team to work together to earn points, and the recent Orbventure needs all users to help solve the mystery. No one can do it alone.
On Tinkatolli, older users help each other and especially new players by giving them virtual items as well as explaining how the game works.
While nothing can be perfect, the filters and moderators on VWs almost eliminate bullying and bad language.
For children who are forced to move with their parents, having an on-line community of friends makes things much easier. Although it may take some time for them to make new friends, their on-line buddies can provide much needed support and prevent feelings of loneliness.
3. Inspires Creativity
Both Minimonos and Tinkatolli encourage users to be creative and submit their art work, graphics and videos. The amazing art work and programming to create a VW inspire the players to learn computer and graphic programs.
I think the next generation of creative geniuses will come from Tinkatolli with its emphasis of creating on-line and especially off-line, turning pieces of junk into something wonderful.
Anyone who is creative can tell you: most of our brilliant thoughts come when our minds are thinking about something else.
4. Thinking Outside the Box
Many things on VWs are not logical. They require doing things that seem completely unrelated to complete a quest or open a door.
Often, significant discoveries are made in one area when someone is working on something totally unrelated. “Happy accidents” sometimes give us new understanding about how life works and things interact.
Playing on VWs allows children the ability to think illogically and spontaneously. Recently one of my buddies on Tinkatolli figured out to flip his smile from side to side by clicking on the sky!
The obvious benefit from playing on a VW is increased vocabulary as well as reading and writing skills (Not to mention learning how to type faster to keep up with the conversations)
Most VWs also have math games where the player needs to add, subtract, multiply and divide faster and faster to get a higher score.
6. Planning and Making Choices
Everyone wants to have the rarest and best “stuff” on their Virtual World. This requires planning and some difficult choices.
I may desperately want something from the Unusuals Shop on Tinkatolli, but I also want my 20,000 seed badge. I cannot do both.
So I need to decide to go for one or the other.
If I spend all my shells on minimonos as soon as I get them, I will not have any left for the new costume coming next week.
These difficult choices can help children decide what is most important to them, and encourage them to work and wait for the best choices.
This is another chance to work and wait for the reward. The most important things in life require time and effort. If we want to go to college we need to keep our marks up from early in high school. To be good at any sport requires years of training and commitment from a very young age.
Any exciting and interesting career needs years of learning and experience. Delayed gratification is essential to reaching most goals in life. (That means been willing to wait and work hard for the good stuff.)
As you may know, if you read any of my Tweets on Twitter, I really hate washing dishes! Lol I love to cook and other housework is not a problem, but somehow dishes are horrible for me.
Of course, there are other things I need to do that are not fun or exciting.
One of the ways I encourage myself to get those mundane things done, is to reward myself with some on-line time having FUN.
I think using this idea with children could set a good pattern for life. We get the tough stuff over with, and then we enjoy our fun time even more.
I hope these thoughts are useful to both children using VWs and their parents.
Just a reminder: I do NOT work for, nor am I paid for my opinions by anyone. I am free to say exactly what I think!