With environmentally focused sites like ZookaZoo, home helper (chore supporter) sites like Handipoints, science based environments like Whyville, math & financy fancy destinations like Minyanland, and literacy-friendly sites like Dizzywood, here’s another to add to the group of parent-happy sites: Elf Island.
A nice little bird popped this into the comments section of my Worthy Virtual Worlds post this morning:
Elf Island merits a place on this list – http://www.elfisland.com — It’s a revolutionary Virtual World for kid’s ages 8-12, that is due to launch late summer 2008.
Here’s a top line overview of the site and its mission.
– We’re coining a whole new genre of gaming: Gaming for Good ™, which empowers kids to play an active role in making a difference in the real world.
– Elf Island is the first and only virtual world that uses what we’re calling Mirrored Gaming™ — which is based on the exclusive premise of practicing good online and reflecting that same good offline.
– Elf Island leverages the power of fun through entertaining game play, social interaction and storytelling while encouraging kids to understand they have the power to influence change in the world.
Riddled with differentiators from any site currently in the market, Elf Island is an amazingly creative environment that opens up new opportunities for giving back and delivers a new level of fun and fulfillment. Elf Island’s founders are award-winning game industry veterans (and devoted parents) who have created youth-focused online promotions and experiences.
The artwork on their landing page is gorgeous, and looks fantastical (who doesn’t love fantastical). I’m interested to see how they spin “doing good” into something that’s still begs for teeth-sinking fun from tweens who are exploring the Jedi vs Sith battles of friendship in Junior High.
The idea of positive behavior and role modeling (“doing good”) is something I think all of us community folks want our youthful members to walk away with. I give props to anyone wishing to put more emphasis on the entire world experience.
Speaking of which, Amy Jussel continues to follow the educational value of such entities over at Shapingyouth.org. I dig her latest post about The Value of Unstructured Play. It’s got a lot of great links to important papers and research regarding play patterns, imagination, and the growth/power of media.