Heads Up: Revnjenz
Another day, another new virtual world aimed at kids. This one’s called Revnjenz, and its focus is on cars. To be specific, users buy ‘collectible driver’s licences’ in real-world stores, which give them access to the Revnjenz virtual world.
The site claims to be targeted at boys and girls equally, with the slightly cheeky claim that “Virtual Plush may now be a thing of the past, as it’s time to get into something fast!”. The model is similar to the many virtual worlds linked to physical plush toys though: buying one of the licences gives you a code, which you enter in the Revnjenz website to unlock a virtual car.
It seems part MMO and part virtual world, with races and games to play. There’s a virtual currency, of course – here it’s BoostBucks that can be earned, and then spent on upgrading the cars with new engines, wheels, neon kits, turbos, superchargers, body kits and decals. Zones to visit in the world include the Arcade, Academy, Police Station, Raceway, Gas Station, Performance Garage and Repair Shop.
The Academy is interesting – it’s got more educational games to play, with the aim of winning parents’ approval of their kids’ use of the world. The Revnjenz licences are due on sale either in late summer or early autumn this year. My one question is that the whole idea of street-racing and car-pimping might be more appealing to an older audience than kids – it sounds quite petrolheady. Then again, I guess any kids who’ve been playing console games like the Need For Speed series will be well versed in this kind of thing. But would they rather play online versions of that?
Here are my quick thoughts (as I’m going crazy these days, but crazy = busy, and busy = healthy & proactive, and healthy & proactive = virtual world!):
* Why do these tween virtual worlds keep creating names that are…. difficult. Revnjenz is going to be misspelled every which way until Sunday. I get the kitsch of it, “revving the engines”, cute. But seriously… if kids aren’t bonked on the head with obviousness of phonetics & intent of spelling, it’s gonna get messy.
* I think their path to market with the “licenses” ain’t such a bad idea. Very nice indeed. When I was a tween I always bought those “fake licenses” at Claire’s. Very cool.
* GOOD LUCK. There’s going to be an interesting competitive drive between this site and Disney’s CARS. Perhaps the existence of Car’s MMO will help drive up the age difference for Revnjenz – a place for the youngin’s and a place for the older tweens. Ya just never know.
* Educational games? That’s also interesting. This year there have been a nice handful of virtual worlds that are entertainment-geared with educational values. Props to them all. It’s nice to see the range of the youth VW market – educational, educational w entertainment, entertainment w education, entertainment. There’s room for everyone and varying tastes.
I haven’t dug in yet, but when I do, if there’s anything to note, I will.
Currently I’m still addicted to Wizard101. By far one of the best kid MMOs I’ve seen. Oh, Pixie Hallow… I look forward to your beta launch!
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