Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Most people know about Webkinz
by now, but with a quickly multiplying number of tween-targeted virtual
worlds taking over the Web, it’s not an easy task keeping up with the
rest of them. The newest one to know is BarbieGirls; since its launch on April 27th, more than 3 million users have registered on the site.

Similar to other tween virtual worlds but drawing tweens through the
iconic Barbie brand, the community site enables girls to create, dress
and style their own personal virtual Barbie. Using their custom Barbie
avatars, site visitors can chat with friends, primp, adopt pets, shop
with B Bucks earned through games, decorate rooms, and watch videos.
Although the site is free to use, participants need to purchase a
Barbie Girl mp3 player to unlock additional “special” content on the
site, including secret rooms, accessories and clothes. The device also
allows girls to sync their mp3 players to each others’ computers in
person, which then enables them to participate in "Secret B Chats" with
one another, offering more privacy and open conversation. While
physical components to virtual worlds are still a relatively new idea,
we believe that in the future they will be expected by users

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