Heads Up: Girl Arcade and eventual world

Interactive studio Fuel Industries announced yesterday the launch of AllGirlArcade.com, a Web portal for 7-to-10-year-old girls with a focus on casual games, gaming news, and online shopping with virtual currencies. The theme revolves around The All Girl Star Squad–gaming celebrities pitted against aliens and a queen set on conquering the universe–and will eventually be extended to webisodes, movies, merchandise, and, importantly, a virtual world.  The world will let girls build their own houses and customize it with prizes won in games and tournaments. The first step, this month, mid-June is to set the basis for the world with additionally functionality coming in phase two this September. All Boy Arcade is planned for next year.

Virtual Worlds News: Fuel Creates AllGirlArcade.com; Plans for Girl-centric Virtual World

This should be an interesting venture.  Lord knows there’s like a bajillion girl-based Virtual Worlds/dress-up sites/MMO’s either existing or in production.  But as I’ve said before… competition is healthy.

Hmm. So the artwork/characters reminds me a bit of bratz + the singing roach girls from the Tiny Toon Adventures cartoon (anyone remember that skit?  I can’t find an image for the life of me on google, but I did find mention of them in Wikipedia).  Now that I think back, I liked The Roaches cartoon bits on Tiny Toons.  They reminded me of Josie and the Pussycats from my Archie comics.  And now, I’m off track.  Sorry.

Anyway – it will be good to see a new brand emerge into this multiplatform state, and see how they approach things differently (or exactly the same) as others before it.  I like they’re focus on GIRL GAMERS (and hope girls benefit from girl gamer play so that we can at least try to give boys a run for their money, lol).

I’m a little dismayed at the INTENSE USE of pink on the site.  Apparently success in the girl market cannot be had without fuchsia or hot pink.  Sad world indeed. 

There’s something people have to be careful about when setting up a new site… During the registration process the Newsletter Opt-in has to FEEL like an opt-in and not an actual requirement to finish registration.  Why?  Because it’s kinda a sketchy way to obtain an email from a U13 year old.  By COPPA – the only way a site can obtain a user’s email WITHOUT parental approval is to give the child an OPTION to get a NEWSLETTER.  But again, it needs to be obviously an OPTION. 

Other than that, the site seems safe.  They have canned-screen names and avatars, and the profile pages are limited to results of actions on the site (which is a welcome change from kids having to enter in their own profile details, but it does require a bit of work to acquire such stats/etc… which, if positioned correctly, could be a total enticement for girls to establish themselves in the world & empowerment for being recognized).

I wish those at AllGirlArcade the best.  They have some tough competition.  Luckily girls are multitaskers.  The biggest hurdle now is to ensure that the site gets traffic and can keep the traffic (since competition from similar sites like Bebratz and barbiegirls and girlsense and stardoll and neopets and pixie hallow, etc etc will be tense).

The best thing they’ve got going for them is their multiplatformness… and if they can really put some drive behind offering a hub for quality/high octave awesomeness, they’ll do just fine.

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