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> Another year bites the dust…
Another year bites the dust…
WOO HOO! Holidays are smack on top of us like a lump of snow after sliding en masse off my parents’ rooftop. As I mentally prep for the climate change from Los Angeles to Chicago, perhaps some distraction is due, yes?
The Best (and faves) for 2007 (in no particular order)
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online (for the easy teamwork encouraged, and for scoring my credit card submission)
- Panwapa (for preschool & educational VW/community)
- Imbee & Yomod (for safe profile communities); honorable mention: xivio (they community staff rocks, I’m not sold on the ads)
- Girlsense (for paperdoll avatars); honorable: Stardoll (for smart branding)
- iCarly (for user generated content connecting TV & Web); honorable: Edgar & Ellen
- Moshi Monsters (for unique user-to-avatar play)
- Mugglenet.com (for fan community successfully publishing a book); honorable: the_leaky_cauldron.org
- Club Penguin (for parent involvement & constant community events, activities)
- Disney Fairies (for the QUALITY fairy-builder & well made profile builder for young girls)
- Cartoon Network: for their clever, cautious new media/gaming/virtual world department
- Foster’s Big Fat Awesome House Party (quest game)
- Mini Match (in beta with LOADS of awesome possibilities)
- Fusion Fall (leaked images promise good things)
- Knowing who their audience is, and not immediately kicking out a ill-planned world like others…
Honorable: Disney (who seems to be on the right track now… after that whole DXD debacle, etc)
The “Meh” Department of Irks for 2007 (in no particular order)
- Maple Story: Okay, I know it’s NOT NOT for U13 year olds. But I spent about 2 hours on there yesterday and saw some horrible language & guild names (really bad). There is no way to report anything. Wretched.
- Be-bratz. I shelled out 30 bucks for that darn doll so i could get the key into the be-bratz EXCLUSIVE (no free members here) world. What a waste. It isn’t really a virtual world, and less then some of the FREE environments you can find online for girl play/dress up. What a gyp.
- Neopets: for their less-than-stellar con-man-ads that take kids away from the environment to another site without warning (and have that site be skinned identical to neopets too… just for further trickery). Also for re-nigging on their promise to keep the site free, and instead add real world buy-ins much to the community’s chagrin.
- Nicktropolis: for having all the possibility in the world to be a great environment, and instead falling flat. It’s just a roaming area that breeds boredom and tosses crappy ads at you while you try to figure out how to communication with their craptastic predictive text chat system. And they don’t seem to be doing anything to improve it. Wa waaaa.
- Zwinktopia: For their mixed-message ads (not sure who they’re aiming for: tweens or teens or adults? Because the world is NOT for kids), and for sticking crap in my browser that is nigh on impossible to remove.
- TheDollPlace and GamesRadar: For their lack of COPPA-happy procedures (being one of TWO busted this year)
- EA (Electronic Arts) for CANNING the Harry Potter MMORPG… WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?
- High School Musical 2: For their crappy attempt at interjecting UGC into the film. Mass polls for T-Shirt slogans seems a bit 1998 to me. For such a HUGE company with so much power, you’d think Disney would have tried to do something a bit more web 2.0
- THERE.COM & it’s Coke world, Virtual Laguna, Virtual Hills, etc… propaganda for fitting wayward users into wretched stereotypes. Not to mention, it’s inhabited by age-lying 12 year old girls & 20-something college guys. Plus– having paying to play in ads within ads within ads. Doh.
- The “me too’s” that are almost direct copies of Virtual Worlds already out there (especially the product based pet-care worlds, blech!). Be original people!
What I’m looking forward to in the new year:
- Little Big World
- Fusion Fall
- Pixie Hallow!!
- All the new VW’s arriving that will further push & challenge this emerging industry of awesomeness!!
- New people to meet in communities & virtual worlds
- Conferences galore.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE! Be safe, eat food, enjoy the people around you, and laugh. Much luv to ya!