What Every Mom Should Know about Wee World
Wee World Wee Mee
I have started this
mission of researching Virtual Worlds designed for children. During my
research I found that my 10 year old daughter has an account for Wee
World. Now I remember her asking me if she could join and I remember
her saying that it was like Club Penguin. Well I am here to tell you
that it is NOT like Club Penguin. I have suspended my daughter's Wee World account. This is why...
I noticed that several people had sent my daughter friend invites (similar to myspace). When I logged into her account, I noticed that most of the chats revolved around her WeeMee (her virtual character) being "hot". She had several requests from boys asking if she would be their girlfriend. She had comments about how they "would like to have ***" with her.
I found that she lied about her age to gain access to the site which you must be over 13 to join - a little detail that she forgot to tell me. It was easy for her to lie about her age and gain access to the site.
To get started on WeeWorld, your child designs a WeeMee. They pick body color, eye color, and are able to accentuate body parts like their chest. Reference the above image of a Mee under design. I am glad that they have covered the private areas. Oh My!
Once the child designs the Mee they are able to and encouraged to make new friends. They are having a contest for the Mee that sends the most friend invites. The site also offers a Mee look a like contest. I noticed that some of the contest entries are adults well over the age of 18. I am not comfortable with my young daughter or even my 14 year old daughter being encouraged to chat with other people that are over the age of 18. I know that it is my responsibility to keep my child safe online, however, this site is targeted to children, unlike a site like myspace that is targeted to teens and adults.
Their safety policies are also very vague. They go into detail about how to protect your child online. They put the responsibility on the parent to police your child's behavior online. They state that they have filters for inappropriate language but they ask that the child report any abuse. This warning message is listed in their Safety Advice area: "Remember the person you are in contact with may not be who they say they are. If you are under the age of 18, speak to a trusted adult before arranging to meet someone in the real world."
In fairness of WeeWorld, here is the link to the Safety Advice section of WeeWorld for you to view (it is too long to copy within the text). http://www.weeworld.com/popups/safetyAdvice.aspx#safety
Based on reading the Safety Advice and spending time on my daughter's WeeWorld account, I think that it is important to know that this Virtual World is intended for children over 13. Make sure that if your child is under 13 that you do not allow them to sign up for this. I am writing this to warn parents of the potential danger for children of all ages. I hope this helps you make an informed decision.