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Wooz World: Create Your Woozen
What is Wooz World?
Some web sites let you buy stuff. Some web sites let you interact with other people on the Internet while safely hiding behind a colorful avatar. WoozWorld offers both opportunities. This site provides a series of stylized rooms populated by other Wooz folk and furnished with virtually expensive accoutrement.
"Players" chat with each other while (optionally) spending real money to get Woozy money to purchase online stuff that is virtually valuable and literally worthless. Wooz World typifies a growing segment of online virtual worlds geared toward younger audiences.
Is it fun? Fun comes in many online forms and this may be one of them. It's not eBay fun or going outside to play fun, but there's some amount of entertainment to be had. We spent some time in WoozWorld to see what the fun is all about.
Create your own Woozen
Woozen is the name of the avatars that inhabit Wooz World.. You get to design your Woozen's face, clothes, hair, and shoes. You can also pick the gender of your Woozen, boy or girl. We created a boy Woozen called Sigmund. We gave him short cropped hair, penny loafers, a button-down shirt, and a clipboard. He also had pants.
The Woozen creation process does not support uploading an an image of any kind. There's no chance that a malicious would-be-woozen would send over an offending graphic. All Woozen are bright-eyed and youngish-looking. They share the same general characteristics but differ slightly in skin tone or clothing. It's a world where everyone is beautiful.
The Woozen Code of Conduct
Before entering WoozWorld, you are required to click on a check box affirming your adherence to the Woozen Code of Conduct. The Magna Carta was more significant, but this list of gentle rules provides a good framework for getting along with other folks in the virtual world:
- Respect others:
- Never give our personal information:
- Use good manners:
- No lying, cheating, always play fair :
WoozWorld is free, except when it's not
After agreeing to the code of conduct, a splash screen pops up. For only $9.99 (virtually 10 dollars) we were offered the opportunity to purchase 3X more "Wooz" or upgrade to a 30 day VIP pass. We were unsure of the actual value of that many 'Wooz'es or the utility of a 30 day pass, so we passed on the pass and we opted out of the Wooz wingdings.
We get dropped into a Wooz World
After declining the wonderful Wooz upgrade offers, we were plunked into a virtual room. Many colorful avatars wandered to and fro. We were overwhelmed by the message traffic: each avatar made comments that appeared briefly in a thought bubble near their heads.
To make a comment to the room, we simply typed into a text box at the bottom of the screen and pressed the Enter key. If the WoozWorld censors liked our verbiage, it shortly appeared above our head for all to read. If the censors disapproved, our offending text was replaced with the "#" character when displayed in the room.
We tried to make up an email address and 'speak' it to the room, but the WoozWorld software was way ahead of us. The "@" character was completely ignored and the remainder of the address was reduced to "#.#" when displayed to the room.
Is Wooz World Safe?
You can play without validating your email address.
Although you are required to enter an email address in order to create an avatar, the email address is not validated in anyway before the system allows you to enter the first room.
You are able to type 'free' text into a text box, but the Wooz software censors out offensive words and anything that looks like an email address. Rest assured that a code for communicating email addresses and other info will be developed, if it has not already been.
Who Can Play in the Wooz World?
To be clear, anyone with an Internet connection and a copy of Adobe Flash player can wander about in WoozWorld. Since the system doesn't validate email addresses, there's no authentication whatsoever. Any avatar could represent any sentient human being. In fact, some avatars are probably controlled by computers rather than real people.
Private Chatting is Supported
It is possible to initiaite a private chat with another Wooz. Private chatting sessions can include multiple players: they are not limited to two 'people.' We noted that the same filtering software is applied to messages sent via private messages when a chat is taking place.