Using Webkinz

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by Barbara J. Feldman on November 25, 2009

Children under the age of fourteen often find it difficult to find a social networking site where they can associate with their friends and family members. Since MySpace and Facebook do not allow children under the age of fourteen to join, several parents have reacted by creating their own social networking sites for children. One safe social networking site for kids is Webkinz. Webkinz offers children the ability to use special codes that are found on the tags of stuffed animals they purchase in the stores. The codes are plugged into the Webkinz World website where they are in charge of caring for their avatar.

It’s a fun way for children to learn a little bit about social networking as they have the opportunity to interact with other users and to participate in games and other things. The one downside to interacting with other users is that there is not an official screening process so you don’t always know who you are talking to. Parents are encouraged to use the site with their children and to monitor their behavior to make sure they are not talking to the wrong people and to make sure they are not offering their personal information.

How does Webkinz work?

In order to join the web site, you need to purchase a Webkinz stuffed animal. They can be found online or in several retail stores. The cost of a Webkinz varies from $9-$14. Input the code on the tag of the Webkinz and you will be directed to a home with your Webkinz. Once you have your Webkinz, you are expected to care for it. You will need to play games in order to build up a reserve of KinzCash. The KinzCash will help you purchase food, clothing, and other things for your Webkinz. In order to continue using the site for a long time, you need to purchase a new Webkinz once a year. Every membership will expire in twelve months if a new Webkinz code is not input.

What do I have to do?

While Webkinz is an online gaming world, you are still expected to hold up your end of the bargain, which is to take care of your Webkinz. You need to do things like taking the Webkinz to see Dr. Quack, the veterinarian. He will recommend things for your avatar like more exercise, different foods, and proper care for your Webkinz.

To keep your Webkinz happy and healthy, you not only need to do the basic care for it, but you need to continue playing games and collecting KinzCash so you can buy food for the Webkinz along with clothing, swimming pools, furniture, and other decorations for the Webkinz home. Without caring properly for your Webkinz pet, it will die.

What is the online community?

When you are connected to the Webkinz site, you are expected to interact with other Webkinz. If you are a nice Webkinz, you will be able to gain extra points which will give you extra KinzCash. Since you are talking to other users, there is no guarantee that the web site is completely safe. Fox Media controls the site and they have not placed restrictions on the users that log onto the site. This has prompted some parents to remove their children’s accounts because they worry about pedophiles and other users on the site. The only way to truly protect children, each plush toy that is sold would need to have a tracking device so Fox Media can find out who is buying the toys and logging onto the site. The only thing Fox Media can do to protect children is to restrict personal information and foul language from being shared on the site.


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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Using Webkinz." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Nov. 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/614/using-webkinz/ >.