As many parents are leading busier lives juggling work and kids, some can be oblivious to the content of what their children are watching and playing online. Others, coming from a different, non-digital generation, simply don’t understand what’s it all about. You know that it’s a virtual world where kids seem to play colourful (and sometimes noisy) games, but what exactly does each virtual world have inside? What are the main features of kid’s virtual worlds?
Each virtual world in the Avatar Generation database has a list of features in its description. This can help you decide whether the virtual world your kid is playing is suitable for them, and it summarises all the features without needing to play in-world yourself. This handy feature of our website, will save you time and effort in researching a virtual world for your kid.
In creating our extensive and comprehensive database, we analysed what are the most common features in a kid’s virtual world. The most common feature, which was present in a high number (n=145) of our active virtual worlds, was customizing avatars. Kids love chopping and changing their avatar, putting clothes on and creating interesting looks. Virtual world designers have tapped into this, and have created many different types of customization possibilities from facial features to personal pets.
Interestingly, even though many people connect virtual worlds with playing online games, playing games was only the third most common feature in the virtual worlds surveyed. More common than gaming was “buying stuff”. The use of finance and basic economics as a feature of virtual worlds may surprise, but it is found to be the second most common feature. Buying items, such as clothing, games and household furniture can teach kids the basics of financial management and help them understand how economies work.
Other features that were common to many virtual worlds were watching movies, quests/missions and decorating avatar homes. Quests are an excellent way of keeping members occupied by making them spend more time in the world, and can improve a kid’s thinking and spatial development skills.
Alongside these more physical virtual features, there were also community-based features that ranked highly in our research. Chat, buddy lists and visiting friend’s rooms were all present in a high number of virtual worlds. The community aspect of virtual worlds is highly important for retaining members, and as we can see from the use of these features.
By using Avatar Generations search engine, you will be able to browse the feature of each virtual world and decide which is the best for your kid.