Community Holidays & Smart Virtual Worlds…
It’s holiday time – twice in a week too! First the leprechauns, then the bunnies.
Anyway… if you’re interested in the elements that make a great/successful community, check out the life in Club Penguin & Buildabearville. Both are having holiday-events. Of course it helps that it’s Spring Break time, but regardless, the worlds are humming with life and awesomeness.
Perhaps I’m just picky, but I honestly think you cannot have a healthy, uber-strong sense of citizenship in your youth-based virtual worlds WITHOUT acknowledging real world excitement. I am consistently impressed by the thriving movement of the community in Club Penguin– they’re very good about giving their users the tools to play, instead of dictating to the users the play. Kids are actually forming their own civilization under the eyes of the moderators & site runners (I know there are several of you readers that worry about the chat system in CP or dislike Disney as a whole… I’ll leave that convo for another day).
Buildabearville is really chugging along as well. They’re still a bit stiff, but that’s because they’re young. Their atmosphere, although pretty, is a bit tight. It’s difficult to get a sense of elbow room. Users will get used to their environment, if they haven’t already (with a couple mill users, me thinks they’re doing just fine). Once they open up chat so free kids aren’t default “pre written text”, kids will start acting a little more like a community instead of a classroom. They’ve really built a balance of gaming vs collecting vs community– allowing such things as trading, color customization, questing, adventuring, and single-player & multi-player games that lean as much boy-oriented as they do girl.
Moshi Monsters, still in Beta, gave the audience/community a chance to build their own holiday– monster based holiday– and then supported it with contests and User Generated Awesomeness.
Nicktropolis actually also has a great new community-event function – a community quiz based around the shows, supporting the nominees of KCA. A bit like Musical Chairs with a hint of Pub Quiz… it’s great fun. It was nice to see something that allowed for change (quiz questions changing up, keeping track of points) other than typical roaming rooms with the same set animations.
Being the community chick I am – events are my favorite. Tis a great time to work in this field! Offering dreams & imagination & ever-living stories, and then putting forth the effort to bring some respect & excitement in real time– basically providing just a bit of an approval to “keep on dreaming, keep on playing, we’ll make it real, you just think it up!” It’s great~!!!!!
Happy Easter you folks who celebrate it, and happy Spring weekend to the rest of you (now if only the snow would leave some of ya’ll alone)!
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