Monday, April 5, 2010

The Travels of Wiglinton and Wenks - Media Freaks

Media Freaks - Wiglington and Wenks

About Wiglinton and Wenks
The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks Virtual World is an exciting new massive online virtual world for kids where players can travel to places around the world, through time and space, meet famous historical people, play fun enriching games, make new friends own exotic islands, build culture-inspired houses, wear all kinds of cool clothing and costumes, explore secret locations, solve ancient mysteries and become a legendary traveler!

Probably the most massive virtual world for kids to date, The Travels of Wiglington and Wenks features more than 100 fun-filled educational real world and imaginary locations from the past, present and future.

The kids will be learning about history, geography, landmarks, famous people, inventions, the environment, animals and more.

My Thoughts
The first time I saw an ad for this website, I was very interested. But that was when it was only announced... Recently I saw the ad again in my home school magazine and realized that it had been released.

I was interested in this website because it seemed to be educational and geared toward history and geography. What I had not realized though is that is also contained information about how to care for the planet and the consequences of pollution in the environment.

The graphics are quite stunning and there is a lot of information that a child could get about the history, geography as well as the environment if the said child would take the time to read the information that appears when you click on various images. Not every child are at the same level of reading for a certain age group. I was fortunate that my oldest son was able to read BUT not every child advance at the same pace.
I find the website to be an expensive activity for the kids. Mind you I am limiting the access of it and it is only on a reward basis. I have read so much about the effects of video games and addictions to such sites can have on children that I am not quite comfortable with the whole concept. Mind you – you can also have a free account but this won’t give you full access to the site. And since you need to travel around the world to find the people and their missing objects, well I don’t see the purpose of getting a free account apart from checking it out. The monthly charge is 5.99$US, three months access is 16.99$US, six month ticket would be 29.99$US and finally the one year ticket for your travels would be 59.99$US. As much fun this site might be, I don’t see the

I have two negative points for this program. The first is the chat functionality and the ability of communicating with others. I personally think that this functionality should be removed when children are concerned. There are so many problems with facebook and other social networking, I don’t think this should be involved in a educational game over the net. Seriously, how would you know if one of the characters is not an adult? I wonder... Apparently, the parent will have the possibility of turning off the chat feature as well as preventing the child to participate in open chat. However, right now, the option of doing so is disabled as the company is working closely with a child safety organization called trustE to gain COPPA recognition. Since the company behing Wiglinton and Wenks is fine tuning this particularity, I was unable to test this part of the website. However, I think it is a good step toward a proper direction. Security is a must in such sites where your child can have access in chatting features.

The other thing that bothers me is the fact that one of the people that your character will help is Charles Darwin who has developed the theory of evolution. As a Christian mom who homeschool her children, I will tell them about this theory so they know it exists but I don’t think this should be pushed on children. The other people the kids would help throughout the journey are Gandhi, Genghis Khan, Betthoven, Buffalo Bill, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, Neptune, chief Joseph, Galileo Galilei, Quasimodo, and Saint Patrick. And other quests will be developed to make the trip worth it. Here’s a list of the historical people whose quests are not available yet but planned for the future: Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Cleopatra, Confucius, Copernicus, Damo, Emperor Qin, Albert Einstein, Issac Newton John, Marco Polo, John Rolfe, Nostra Damus, Pocahontas, Wilbur Wright Orville Wright Vlad Dracula and much more. As you can see some of these characters might be questionable for children.
As much as I find the idea quite interesting and educative, I question the fact that children are able to chat and why some characters are available on this site. However, as a positive note, I find the games quite fun and pretty cleaned. As my son progressed in the games, he was able to collect money and then had the ability of purchasing much needed supplies that would help him to go further in the game. It reminded me of the games that you have in Webkins. Also, your own character has the possibility of buying new clothes, costumes, islands and pets. The precision of how to direct the character is extraordinary. I have check out another website which has the same concept and the precision wasn’t has well done as the one on Wiglington and Wenks.

In conclusion, Wiglinton and Wenks is an interesting website where the kids would travel around the world to help historical character to remember who they are. The site is well done and brings an interesting challenge of finding the missing object to help someone. It contains fun games and interesting information about history, environment and more. However, I find it quite expensive on a budget to keep the kids entertained. I would prefer having this product available as a PC game without the chat functionality. It reminded me of my King Quest/Space Quest/Police Quest days when I was younger.

Wiglington and Wenks is available at .

This review was possible because I receive a free one-month access to the siteWiglington and Wenks through the TOS Homeschool Crew. Thanks to Media Freaks.

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