Here are some of my thoughts about current Virtual Worlds. I am NOT paid by any of them!! So these are just my opinions and experience with them.
Worlds I really do NOT recommend –
Neopets – Adam and Donna made a wonderful community and cared whether everyone had a good time. When Viacom took over – everything changed. Just about the money now. Still has a lot of great games – just avoid the organized events. Their idea of a plot is now just refreshing the page over and over so their numbers look good.
Tootsville – not much happening and really really focused on selling you that plush toy!!
I have tried a lot of other worlds but not enough to make any useful comments.
Here are the VWs I do like – in alphabetical order –
MM has a clear message – looking after our planet responsibly while having fun. The games are focused on recycling and cleaning up pollution. I like how practical they are with their responsibilities – part of your membership costs goes to providing clean water to people in India.
Update: March 2011 – I just renewed my membership for a full year. Very good deal!! And bought more shells so I could get the new pet!
Here is my monkey on MM!! Lots of chances to chat with buddies so hope to see you on the site. Watch for special events – like parties with the Party Master, Bananatastic, and See You Sunday live. These people are listening to what the users want.
I really enjoyed flying around!! I dream of flying all the time. There were quite of few things for non-members and I did not feel pushed to get a membership to enjoy the site. No one was rude to me – but no one really talked to me or offered to help me when I said I was new. I liked the games – there are clear instructions and help available. Might drop in now and then with my younger granddaughters.
Update January 2012! Just signed up with a one year membership! So many good buddies told me what a great VW this is – I am having an awesome time with them on-site!
Tinkatolli – Land of the Tinkas – is a new online world that rewards kids for making, moving, thinking and giving in the real world.
Even though I had a buddy to guide me, there were lots of users offering to help me. Everyone was polite and I made a new buddy within the first two minutes of being on. Lots of fun things happening on the site so watch for the notices.
You can see I have accomplished a lot in my first two sessions. Lots of free things for everyone. Webosaurs seems to offer the most for membership – there are pages of goodies!!
I still love Webkinz for younger kids. For the price of 1 plush toy (as low as $5 USD), you get an entire year on the site. Although memberships and spending money in the E-store are pushed, most activities are available for everyone.
There are places to be social on Webkinz, and have buddies – even parties in your room – but I only interact with my grandchildren on this site. The filters are good but the kids are able to be pretty rude to each other and there are a lot of threats “I will report you if you do not do what I want.”
Great selection of games and daily activities. I love playing with my pets – they can be trained by going to school – and even learn to do back flips! Webkinz has THE best interactive pets and homes. Pets can take a bath, swim, and play on swings and teeter-totters.
I renew my membership annually and get lots of goodies every month for being a member.
So many people on this wonderful site were kind and helpful to me. At first, I was hesitant about joining. I worried the kids on the site might not like an old granny playing. But then, as one of happy travelers on the site, I enjoyed the social connections with some wonderful young, and old players.
Instead of an imaginary world – you travel through parts of our world. People discuss events in the real world. When disaster struck Haiti, the developers set up a fund for sending relief.
I seldom drop into WW anymore as I find it very sad to see something that started off brilliantly, die a slow and dismal death.
I had many good buddies on WW and loved having fun with them!! WW is basically a social club for tweens and early teens. No daily activities, a few games, and occasional new quests. The filters are very weak, allowing kids to say a lot of rude and offensive things if no mod is on to stop them. The core, long-term, members on the site are the most amazing kids I have ever met! Helpful, fun – AWESOME!!
There are memberships available on WW for extra things – a better tent, islands and costumes. WW was THE best VW in my experience for NO advertising and not pushing memberships. Most activities are available for everyone!
Update: January 2012 – WW is closed. John Bittleston who wrote the Wiglington and Wenks stories is still looking for new funding to re-open. I hope he does manage to start again!