Friday, April 2, 2010

The Travels of Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World - A Review

Product: The Travels of Wiglington & Wenks Virtual World

Price: FREE for non-members
$5.99 for monthly membership (discounts for longer time periods)

Company: Wiglington & Wenks Worldwide Pte Ltd.

Want to Play: W&W

Brief Overview:
(From the Website)

In a nutshell, The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World (WW) is an exciting
new massive online virtual world for kids aged 7 to 14.

It promises an experience in which players will be able to travel to places around the world, through time and space, meet famous historical people, play dozens of fun
enriching games, make new friends, buy exotic islands, build culture-inspired houses,
wear clothes from different countries, explore secret locations, solve mysteries and
become a legendary traveler!

Kids follow a plot where they travel around the world to locate and help a group of
historical people who have come to the present era through a time warp regain their lost memories.

Parents can look forward to an educational and safe site for their kids where they will be learning about history, geography, landmarks, famous people, inventions, animals and more.

And for the kids, they can expect hours of interactive and exploration fun.WW was
originally a children story book series by veteran businessman John Bittleston,
later adapted into a virtual world for kids by creative entrepreneur Aldric Chang
and Ngo Chee Yong.


In-Depth Look:

I had never heard of this game or the book series that it is based on. But when I heard that it was a virtual world for kids, my children were eager to try it out. When I learned that it had historical educational content, I was eager for them to try it out.

The staff at W&W provided us with a 1-month subscription. We played as a free member until it was activated. My daughters noticed only a few differences between free play and paid member. Some of these are more pets, houses and islands. Also access to special locations. A neat bonus is 3,000 Rollars and 1,000 WW Virtual Currency awarded every month.

The game is very high quality. Great graphics. Easy to maneuver. Interesting storyline. In my opinion, it is of the same high quality as other big-name online virtual worlds that my daughters have enjoyed playing.

My 8 and 11 year old daughters have logged quite a few hours playing this game in the past few weeks. They enjoy the chat feature and the games. They also like buying clothes, adopting pets and getting a house. I think one of their favorite things is playing Balloon Warz.

The storyline is cute and well laid out. Famous people from the past are now here in our time, but they don't remember who they are. Players must find the famous people, then find the items that will help them recall who they are. Along the journey, players visit various countries learning about its landmarks, nature, wildlife, clothing, etc. My daughters have spent time visiting the different
countries, so I consider this a nice little plus.

If your child searches for the historical figures and their "memory-repairing" items, he will learn some facts about these people. A small history lesson here and there, with the likes of Albert Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell. I wasn't thrilled to see Charles Darwin listed, since I am not a fan of the Evolution Theory. If your child plays out the story, he will learn some interesting history facts. But my daughters have spent very little time on these tasks. They have spent the majority of their time chatting and playing Balloon Warz. So although it is a nice benefit, your child may not choose to spend time on it.

The game has free chat, meaning that your child will be able to type most anything. This is unlike some of the other major virtual worlds geared to this age group, which only allow players to choose from preselected messages. I had concerns about this chat setup. So I read the faqs section about it to see just how it is handled with Wiglington and Wenks. I will include for the sake of others with

No Numbers
  • We have developed a system that cleverly filters out telephone numbers and addresses to
  • prevent the exchange of sensitive information.

No URL Links

  • URL links are disallowed to prevent the dissemination of inappropriate websites.

No Vulgarities

  • Vulgarities will not be tolerated in our virtual world! Vulgarities will be censored and repeat
  • offenders will be temporarily banned or barred permanently from The Travels of Wiglington
  • and Wenks Virtual World.

No Private Messaging

  • We disallow private messaging within our virtual world to discourage unsupervised conversations.

Reporting Features

  • Players are able to report other players who are engaging in inappropriate behavior.
  • Moderators will investigate reports and take the necessary action.

Chat Logs

  • Parents are able to request their children’s chat logs as far back as 90 days.

Special Parents’ Admin Panel

  • Parents are able to monitor the playing habits of their children.
Despite all of these precautions, there were still some instances during my daughters' game time.
Players used bad words and made unkind comments. You can report a player, but they can log right back into the game. You can also choose to ignore a player, so that might be of help with repeat offenders/pests. These are some things to take into account when it comes to free chat.

Pros: My daughters enjoyed the game, the graphics, the chat feature, Balloon Warz, and the pets.
They have exposure to different countries and interesting things about them (landmarks, clothing, etc.). Interesting facts about some historical figures are presented as your child proceeds through the storyline.

Cons: Despite the history lessons about some famous figures, your child may not choose to spend much time on this part of the game. Free chat can lead to exposure of foul language and unkind comments. It can also open the door to giving out too much personal information, such as your child's email.

Read more reviews here.

Disclaimer: I was asked to review this game as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

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