FYI: Dizzywood spins itself into the VW market for youth!
Dizzywood, previously known as Zoodaloo, offers children a story-driven, adventure-based virtual world. The adventures and games look like they’re randomized to keep them fresh, and users are then rewarded with superpowers. Done in Flash with Away 3D, the world offers a surprisingly immersive 3D experience. It’s still in beta, but some of the adventures, while enjoyable and full of addictive minigames, are actually confusing me. But Dizzywood is aimed at children who may be more inclined toward solving the mysteries than I am. All communications are passed through automated filters as well as live monitors. Dizzywood is also ad-free and COPPA compliant. Right now the entire service is free, but the company says it is looking into subscriptions for premium content down the line. That’s an interesting angle after so many worlds have switched to ad-based business models. “There are so many websites for kids, but we felt young people today deserved better,” said Scott Arpajian, Dizzywood co-founder. “We wanted to create an environment that would open up kids’ imaginations and inspire them to create. As a parent of young children myself, safety was also a concern, so we have integrated advanced filtering technology with live moderators that provide for a safe online environment.”
Awesome! I remember seeing bits and pieces about Dizzywood when it was called “Zoodaloo” a few months back. Very exciting!
I very much dig what co-founder Scott Arpajian says with creating “an evironment that would open up kids’ imaginations and inspire them to create.” What a fantastic reason to open a virtual world.
Personally, I’m not a fan of ad subscription. I know you’ve got to bring in bank to run a site, and i know (from convos with the tater tots) that they rarely even SEE the ads anymore (unless they’re uber story/mystery appealing), but there is just something creepy about the click-click-click pattern of kid web surfing and the web-ring of insanity that can be found with various types of ad programs. One ad click leads to another, and sooner or later you’re going to find yourself in a less than desirable environment. You can always employ the “three click rule”: which basically says, as a site you’ll allow ads as long as you cannot find yourself in unfriendly ad space after two more clicks from that ad site. But who is to say that on the DAY you employ your “three click rule” check point is the only safe day, and that in a week the ad path on the other sites will remain safe? There’s no control there. If there’s something parents with U13 kids want– it’s knowing the site their child is visiting is IN CONTROL (whether or not they know what “control” in the web market means).
I look forward to the site going public! Hopefully I’ll get a review up sooner rather than later.
Truly– if you want to have a guaranteed safe environment for children, ads on sites = not the way to go. As for subscription? That money no only goes to the enjoyment of the child, but also to the safe implementation of services by the site– no ads, monitoring, high grade filters, etc. And as a community person– I’ll prop those (safe, well trained, highly screened) moderators as much as possible. And then some.
As a side note: last night I got to FINALLY dive face first into Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean online and it was braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazilliant. Ahh! I’ll do a write up of it this weekend.
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