Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nicktropolis has arrived

More developments in the Kids' TV Goes MMOG front. Nickelodeon is finally ready to launch its kid-MMOG project, which it has *cleverly* named "Nicktropolis" (hmmm - sounds vaguely familiar doesn't it?). We can now add MTV to the growing list of kidnet giants hoping to cash in on the Second Life/MMOG euphoria that seems to have spread throughout the commercial media and children's industries. The site, just like all the others, will blend social networking, gaming and user-generated content with existing (TV) character-brands and programming content. According to Reuters:
Children will be able to create their own personalized 3D rooms on the site, which launches on Tuesday, and move through Nicktropolis by taking on a self-designed 3D avatar similar to those on popular virtual world Second Life.
The site will feature gaming, online video, popular Nickelodeon brands and other elements to help children interact with each other or Nickelodeon characters in real time.

You can read more (but not much more) about it in today's Reuters, or here at PaidContent.org, or you can check it out for yourself here.

You will note that -- similar to the Disney.com revamp and CBBC's planned venture -- Nickelodeon's MMOG has incorporated an array of so-called safety measures (in collaboration with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children). This aspect of the sites should not go unexamined...with DOPA-esque legislation back on the block via the recently proposed 'Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act' it will be interesting to see how children's rights and/or agency are limited in the hopes of quelling parental anxieties about online predators and bullying.

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