Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Welcome to HandLand-a safe virtual world for your children to explore.

Handipoints (HandiLand) is a virtual space for families where kids' everyday ‘real world’ chores earn them big prizes and new adventures in a safe online environment that is controlled and monitored by parents.  

Virtual worlds are online spaces where kids create avatars (kind of like cartoon characters) through which they communicate, socialize, learn, shop, play games, and generally express themselves. There are hundreds of virtual worlds on the Web aimed at users of all ages. Some aimed at young children have controlled text chat, "profanity filters" to block offensive or sexually related chat, and staff or contractors moderating user behaviour – you'll want to check for these safety features. Parents also need to know that there are worlds kids can find and access which are not designed for them.

Unlike other children’s Web sites, Handipoints joins offline tasks, such as cleaning their room and brushing their teeth, with online entertainment and games to teach children the value of their work and foster good behaviour. While they’re having fun, children learn about saving money and building responsible habits - and parents get a helping hand with positive reinforcement that is educational at the same time.”

Kids can walk around the virtual world and talk to each other using canned chat- they choose statements from a list instead of typing them. This stops inappropriate or bullying behaviour. The graphics are impressive and the functionality is rather sophisticated. In addition to buying items and socialising, kids can play in-world games and watch movies -being rewards these require points to be earned, too.

HandiLand combines a fun virtual world for children with tools to teach responsibility, which should make it a favorite with the parents who actually decide which sites to introduce their young ones to. Parents maintain lots of control over what behaviors to encourage in their children, and how to reward them. The site is free to use and parents who don’t want to spend money can choose to only use only virtual rewards.
Adapted from Killerstartups.

Read more about Handipoints at CrunchBase

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