Pixie Hollow – Virtual Worlds for Girls

Pixie Hollow is a massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) aimed at girls from age 6 to 13. Tinker Bell is the guide and mascot of this online game that was developed by Disney. The game is website-based – there is no need to download any files. The only major requirements are that users have Adobe Flash Player, 512MB of RAM and a broadband internet connection.

The design and graphics are done in typical quality Disney fashion – clean, clear, well-defined and with depth. Pixie Hollow is free to join; however, in order for players to experience the full features of the website, a paid membership is required. A monthly membership is $5.95; six months is $29.95; and an annual membership is $57.95. Membership cards can also be bought in person through major toy stores. A full membership allows players to play all the games featured on the website and add accessories to their online life.

Features

Every member who joins Pixie Hollow gets to choose a fairy that will be their virtual personality. In the beginning, members were only able to choose fairies. Currently, there is also a male version of a fairy called a Sparrow Man. A paid membership allows players to shop; obtain a larger virtual home; obtain clothing; play all games on the website (including all quests and adventures); have a pet; and create their own crafts.

What’s Good

Pixie Hollow will appeal mainly to girls under 10 years of age who are interested in the world of fantasy and make believe. The graphics are exceptionally clean and clear with depth and detail, much like Disney’s cartoons and films. There is no violence, drinking, drugs or smoking on the website or in the flash games. Pixie Hollow encourages its members to engage in creativity and imagination by submitting original material and losing themselves in a fantasy world of magic and fun.

What’s Bad

Like many other children’s virtual worlds, Pixie Hollow is divided into two different categories: fun and fantasy for younger children; and risqué chat for tweens and teens. Younger members who are attracted to the Disney themes of innocence and fantasy won’t find much in common with those older members who are more into socializing. Pixie Hollow does have chat filters in place, but they have to realize that members will constantly get around these filters and type in words that look and sound inappropriate – even if the filters don’t catch them. It’s great that members can chat to one another, but if it’s not regulated with force, it brings down the credibility of the entire website.

Online Safety

Even though Pixie Hollow claims that they have strict guidelines for appropriate behavior, they have to understand that certain members will break the rules. Opening up chat so that members can type in suggestive language doesn’t seem like a Disney thing to do. Sure, members will be punished for doing this, but it shouldn’t have been committed in the first place. Pixie Hollow has no control over who joins their website; however, they do have control over what members say. In this regard, Pixie Hollow is not doing a good job and needs to be more vigilant.

Panfu Virtual World Review – Learn Spanish While Having Fun With Friends

In a sea of cookie cutter virtual worlds, Panfu stands out with its focus on language learning and educational activities. While most virtual worlds aim to offer just a hangout zone for kids and pre-teenagers, Panfu takes that concept a few steps further by integrating an active Spanish learning concept within the virtual world, thus making sure that your child will not only have a good time, but also learn a few things.

The protagonists of Panfu are Pandas. These adorable black and white creatures, which captured the consciousness of all kids in 2008 after the success of the animated movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’, are your avatars and guide in Panfu. You start off by creating your Panda, giving him an appropriate name and color (yes, Pandas in Panfu are not limited to black & white). From then on, you can dive into a world of fun filled games and activities.

The Panfu world is centered on interacting with other members and taking part in various activities. Using your Panda character, you can chat up with other kids in a safe environment that takes a lot of care to filter out inappropriate language. You can also earn virtual money by playing games or helping out other Panfu members. This virtual money can be used to buy clothes, pets, and houses for your Panda character. Through this, Panfu adds a collectible element to the virtual world.

The most attractive feature of Panfu, however, is its Spanish learning component. Through a series of immersive activities and games, you can pick up and practice your Spanish language skills. The games are highly effective at helping kids learn the nuances of the language. At the same time, they are fun and amusing enough to retain your attention.

Panfu is ad free and is supported by user contributions and a paid membership. Because of the lack of advertisements, users are frequently prompted to become a premier member. With a premier membership, you can buy collectable items for your Panda, get access to more advanced Spanish lessons, and unlock certain restricted games. The premium membership costs $9.90/month. If getting your child to be strong at Spanish is your aim, a premier Panfu membership is certainly worth exploring.

Panfu is aimed primarily at kids aged six years and up. Hence, the graphics in Panfu are very adorable and cute. Soft edges, bright colors, and interesting characters populate the Panfu world. The virtual world itself has a variety of settings, all of them more beautiful than the other. In other words, the graphics in Panfu are very appealing to kids of all ages.

In terms of performance, Panfu runs within the browser. Since the graphics are completely 2D, the demands on your computer (and the internet connection) are not very high. Panfu does not have as many players online as say, Runescape, and their servers are more than capable of handling the load of their traffic. Consequently, there is very little down time or lag. Panfu runs smoothly even on older computers.

Panfu has excellent parental controls. The language filters within the game work very well at keeping inappropriate language out, ensuring that your kids have a safe and clean chat. You can block out features or games that you think are not right for your kids.

Final Words

Panfu is an excellent virtual world that excels in not only giving kids a great place to hang out, but also a wonderful tool to learn the Spanish language. With versions available in different languages (including Polish, German, and Spanish), your kids will have a great time, while learning new things.